The Rockets are loaded with veterans on the bench and that should suit them well in Rick Adelman’s running offense. Mike James was brought back to the Rockets in the off season and he could challenge Rafer Alston for playing time. James played in 82 games (65 starts) for the Timberwolves last season and he averaged 25.2 minutes, 10.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Stevie Francis was brought in as a free agent and he will likely back up Shane Battier at shooting guard. He played in 44 games (30 starts) with the Knicks last season and he averaged 28.1 minutes, 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Bonzi Wells played some of his best basketball in Sacramento when Rick Adelman was his head coach so maybe he will be inspired to play for him. Wells played in 28 games (1 start) for the Rockets last season and he averaged 21.1 minutes, 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Luther Head will be the long distance assassin off of the bench for the Rockets this season. He hit 44.1% from three point range last year for the Rockets. Head played in 80 games (10 starts) for the Rockets last season and he averaged 27.6 minutes, 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Chuck Hayes will backup Luis Scola at power forward and he did a decent job for the Rockets last season. Hayes played in 78 games (43 starts) for the Rockets last season and he averaged 22.0 minutes, 5.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game. Reserve center Dikembe Mutombo will return as Yao’s backup and he did a great job last season filling in. Mutombo played in 75 games (33 starts) last season for the Rockets and he averaged 17.2 minutes, 3.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 1.0 block per game. Kirk Snyder will be a swing man splitting his time between small forward and shooting guard. He played in 39 games (1 start) last season for the Rockets and he averaged 14.4 minutes, 4.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game. Steve Novak will be at the end of the bench if he even makes the team. He played in 35 games (1 start) as a rookie for the Rockets last season and he averaged 5.5 minutes, 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game. Rookies Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry will likely be sitting a lot as rookies but the Rockets like both players for the future.
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