Comparing the Rockets Starting Lineup to the Best in the West

Categories: Sports

Photos by groovehouse
The Rockets are mired in a five-game losing streak and slumping their way towards the NBA trade deadline next week. They lost two overtime heartbreakers to the Clippers and the Celtics and dropped an uninspired road loss the the abysmal Toronto Raptors. The Rockets aren't exactly free-falling, but their schedule is only getting tougher with the majority of their games to end the season on the road.

I was listening to a discussion about the Rockets trade possibilities -- and their apparent continued hard-on for Pau Gasol -- on sports radio the other day and I began wondering how the Rockets' starters actually line up against the best teams in the Western Conference. I've been saying on this blog that they are a mediocre team lacking stars, and they are, but are they really that much worse off than the better teams in their conference? So, I took the current division leaders, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and the Clippers, and compared them. Let's see how the Rockets fare.

Kyle Lowry
Point Guard

Rockets: Kyle Lowry
Thunder: Russell Westbrook
Spurs: Tony Parker
LA Clippers: Chris Paul
This is a very tough category. Some have suggested we are in a golden era for point guards like what we saw in the late '80s and early '90s for centers. As a result, Lowry doesn't fall into the realm of the elite point guards in the NBA. In this comparison, only the Spurs would consider swapping ones with the Rockets.
Rockets Ranking: 3rd

Shooting Guard

Rockets: Kevin Martin
Thunder: Daequan Cook
Spurs: Danny Green
LA Clippers: Randy Foye
This is the one area where the Rockets match up well. It's a shame, however, that with someone as offensively talented as Martin, he seems to have a season stuck in neutral. It's no surprise he's been sitting long stretches at the end of games, but it's a mystery as to why this slump has been so pronounced. It might be the misfire on the trade that included him in the offseason has him sulking, but no one really knows for sure. Still, in this group, Martin is the clear frontrunner, particularly since Manu Ginobili has been out most of the season with injuries.
Rockets Ranking: 1st

Small Forward

Rockets: Chandler Parsons
Thunder: Kevin Durant
Spurs: Richard Jefferson
LA Clippers: Caron Butler
God bless the rookie for working his ass off out there and providing some defense, as shocking as that may sound. But, he's a rookie and plays with the kind of consistency -- that is to say, none of it -- that you would expect from a first-year player. It doesn't help that arguably the best player in the NBA plays your position.
Rockets Ranking: 4th

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Toyota Center

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