There are two interesting bits of information out in the web-o-zone this week for Houston Rockets fans. The bad news is that Yao Ming will not play for the Rockets in the 2009-2010 season. Wisely, he is taking the time required to properly heal the bones in his foot. The good news is that Tracy McGrady will be playing for the Rockets in the 2009-2010 season. More than that though, it appears that veteran NBA trainer Tim Grover has been able to identify and address the deep rooted physical injuries that have cost McGrady 110 games over the past 4 years, and productivity when we did play.
Even more encouraging news is that Yao sitting out may be good news in disguise. Trevor Ariza is looking to solidify himself as a star in the Association. With Yao out, Ariza will get the opportunity to fill in offensively. Luis Scola, who displayed improved shooting, scoring, and rebounding in his sophomore season will also get a chance to contribute more to the Rockets on both ends of the floor, and to continue to develop his game. The biggest potential plus, of course, is Yao Ming coming back at full strength and with foot problems firmly behind him in 2010-2011. Yao has often commented that he came back from injuries too quickly throughout most of his career. This year off might just be the thing to buck the trend of recurring foot injuries.
There is no doubt that this season will be difficult for the Rockets. Yao Ming has been their offensive and defensive focal point. They’ve lost Ron Artest and added Trevor Ariza, which will require a significant adjustment offensively. Tracy McGrady, for all the positive speculation, will likely take some time to get back into form. And Scola, while promising, has yet to prove himself as a star. That being said, things are looking great for 2010-2011.