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Mar 21, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin (17) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks defeated the Sixers 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Offseason Rankings: No. 14 Houston Rockets

With training camp starting in Cleveland on October 1, Right Down Euclid will be ranking teams from the bottom to the top of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Everyday I will rotate between conferences, starting with the East teams and counting up from No. 16 all the way to the best team in each respective conference.

I will give a quick synopsis of each team’s roster, some of their statistics from last year and why I think they will finish in the position that I predicted. Agree or disagree, stay tuned to RDE to see where your team lands in the 2012 Offseason Team Rankings.

No. 14 – Houston Rockets (5th in Southwest)

2011-12 season: 34-32 (.515), fourth place in Southwest Division (6-8)

Offensive Efficiency: 102.8 (12th)

Defensive Efficiency: 102.1 (15th)

2012-13 roster:

C – Omer Asik

F – Jon Brockman

F-G – Carlos Delfino

G – Toney Douglas

F – Gary Forbes

G – Courtney Fortson

F – JaJuan Johnson

F – Terrence Jones

G – Jeremy Lamb

G – Jeremy Lin

F – Shaun Livingston

G-F – Kevin Martin

F – Marcus Morris

F – Donatas Motiejunas

F – Chandler Parsons

F – Patrick Patterson

F – Diamon Simpson

C – Greg Smith

F – Royce White

After starting the 2011-12 season on the Rockets roster, Jeremy Lin was released by Houston and then worked his way up through the ranks to take the NBA by storm in the basketball Mecca. After the Knicks released Lin in the offseason, the Rockets offered him a four-year, $30 million to bring him back. This, in my opinion, was one of the worst moves of the offseason and by far the biggest gamble. The Rockets will only be as good as Lin is this season, and I don’t expect him to match the shocking numbers that he put up in his time with New York last season. My question is how long will it take for Shaun Livingston or Toney Douglas to take over as the Rockets’ starting point guard.

If it weren’t for the Rockets taking a huge risk with the Lin signing, I would have said that the Rockets investing in Omer Asik to be the potential starting center for the 2012-13 season was the most boneheaded move that Houston could have made. Asik is nothing more than role-playing material, and I shouldn’t even be going that far. In an attempt to land Dwight Howard the Rockets said goodbye to veterans Courtney Lee, Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola, which obviously didn’t work out in their favor. The Rockets had to settle for Asik because they have no other options for a big man on their roster at the time they signed him to a three-year, $25.1 offer sheet. That is way too much money for a guy that averaged 3.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 field goal attempts last season.

There are a few teams that I had competing for the 14th spot in the Western Conference, but with the Rockets gutting some of their best players of last season, in which they finished only two games over .500, this team will take awhile to gel. The inexperience as starters that players such as Lin and Asik have will cause a lot of problems once their whisked into first-team roles. Houston will catch on late, but expect them to bury themselves early on in the season and start looking toward the 2013 draft.

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Tags: Houston Rockets Jeremy Lin Omer Asik

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