Houston: Western Conference Podcast Preview

62070341We continue our Western Conference Podcast Preview series with a look at the Houston Rockets:

Yao Ming’s back, Trevor Ariza’s gone and Houston hoping to get into the playoff mix … how good will the Rockets be?

The Lakers will get an early look in four days, actually, as the Rockets heads to Los Angeles for Tuesday’s season opener at STAPLES Center. Yao, who missed the entire 2009-10 season with an injured wheel he suffered against L.A. in Round 2 of the 2009 playoffs, is back though expected to be limited to around 24 minutes a game. Ariza was shipped to New Orleans in a multi-team trade that brought New Jersey’s Courtney Lee to Texas, who joins starters Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin in Rick Adelman’s stable of guards.

Luis Scola and Shane Battier will start at forward on either side of Yao, with backups like Chuck Hayes, Jared Jeffries, Brad Miller and Jordan Hill itching for playing time.

To break everything down for us, we enlisted Rockets.com beat writer Jason Friedman: