32-year old Shane Battier will be the starter at small forward for the Rockets again in 2010-11. He played in 67 games (62 starts) for the Rockets last season and he averaged 32.4 minutes, 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game. Battier has now played in 685 games (560 starts) in his NBA career and he has avergaged 33.4 minutes, 9.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocked shot per game. He has hit 38.5% of his shots from three point range in his NBA career so the Rockets will just want Battier to keep playing unselfish basketball. If he plays D and makes his open three pointers the Rockets will be happy with him.
22-year old Chase Budinger is a lot like Battier as a player. He played in 74 games (4 starts) as a rookie for the Rockets last season and he averaged 20.1 minutes, 8.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Budinger also shot 36.9% from three point range as a rookie last year.
Courtney Lee will also likely get some minutes at small forward this year and he’s a solid player.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROCKETS SMALL FORWARDS IN 2010-11: C