The Houston Rockets endured a disappointing 2015-16 season despite the fact that their top talent avoided major injury. James Harden led the league in minutes played and Dwight Howard appeared in 71 contests one year after playing in just 41. However significant back injuries to rookie Sam Dekker and big man Donatas Motiejunas kept the team’s injury total relatively high. Dekker and Montiejunas both needed surgery to address a bulging lumbar disc in the lower back. Combined the two players accounted for 71 percent of the team’s total games lost to injury.
The hard work put in by Biles, Keith Jones, and the rest of the Houston medical team was apparent in the minimal amount of time Rockets players missed with soft tissue, particularly muscle-related, injuries. Continuing this trend will be key as new head coach Mike D’Antoni up-tempo offense could increase the physical demands of the Houston players. This includes newcomers Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, two players with unique and lengthy injury histories. The team will unfortunately start the season a man down as veteran guard Patrick Beverley will miss time following knee surgery.