With Omer Asik finally healthy, it appears the Houston Rockets are very close to being fully healthy this season. It will still take a few weeks to get the team going and with the trade deadline looming the roster still may change a bit. Whatever the case may be, we know the Rockets have yet to play their best basketball, and that will hopefully come in April, May, and June. Check out the rest of the links for more.
- Evan Drellich (Houston Chronicle) with a nice spring training preview.
Astros pitchers and catchers are due in camp in Kissimmee, Fla., by Saturday as spring training gets underway. The fully crummy play should mostly be a thing of the past, even if a winning season isn’t exactly impending. The team added an estimated $35 million in guaranteed major league salaries this offseason, tightening a roster that’s been the pits three years running.
- Evan Drellich (Houston Chronicle) on the Astros not letting off-field issues spoil there spring.
- Ray Kuhn (Climbing Tal’s Hill) says Japhet Amador could be a darkhorse.
- Astros tweet of the day…
Astros owner Jim Crane wearing an Astros hat as he plays with Pebble Beach leader Jimmy Walker.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 10, 2014
- Jenny Dial Creech (Houston Chronicle) on the Rockets best yet to come.
“If you win a championship or make a long playoff run, you play well after the All-Star Game,” McHale said. “We have a few games left until the All-Star Game, then you make your run downhill to the playoffs. So we are going to have to play well there.
“I have never seen them give out trophies for the best record in January. On most teams that won championships, they played well in March and April.”
- Steve Aschburner (NBA.com) on the Rockets strong play of late.
- Tim Ryan (The Big Lead) on beard night in Milwaukee.
- Rockets tweet of the day…
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) February 9, 2014
- Eric Edholm (Yahoo Sports) takes a look at the Houston Texans.
Reasons for optimism: The team has a new head coach in Bill O’Brien with a strong pedigree and reputation, and let’s not forget that the Texans were a dark horse Super Bowl contender prior to last season. So with all negatives from a horrific season, there’s still the reminder of solid talent — including elite defender J.J. Watt, some decent complementary parts on defense, two good receivers in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins and a quality left tackle in Duane Brown. Those are solid building blocks.
- Dave Zangaro (CSN Houston) on J.J. Watt’s celebrity game selling out.
- Stephen Forsha (Toro Times) says Ben Tate is as good as gone.
- Texans tweet of the day…
— Sebastian Salazar (@SebiSalazarCSN) February 8, 2014