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Patterson hopes to take Scola's spot

The Sports Xchange

--Forward Patrick Patterson went through some summer league drills and accompanied the team to Las Vegas. But while coming back from offseason ankle surgery, he did not scrimmage and never played in Las Vegas.

A week after the summer league had ended, he said he was ready.

"I'm good," Patterson said. "Ankle's good. Ankle's solid. Ankle's strong. I'm just working on my length strength, my conditioning and my basketball skills."

He also believes that with Luis Scola dropped from the team in an amnesty cut, he will be ready to take over as the starting power forward.

"With all the pieces we added to this team, in my mind I'll play in the starting five," Patterson said. "Then again, who doesn't do that in the NBA? You never know what could happen."

--Omer Asik said he joined the Rockets hoping to improve his offensive game. The Rockets, however, will be happy just to have his defense.

"He's right now primarily a one-way, defensive presence," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "We think that's the most important thing for your five man to be. He has upside to his offensive game because it's limited right now. One of the reasons he really wanted to come to the Rockets is to work with Kevin McHale, Carroll Dawson (a former Rockets assistant and general manager), the staff. Obviously, we've had a great history with big men here. We think Omer will fit right into that.

"Anytime you can get a defensive presence like him, 7-footer, long, probably the best rim protector short of one or two players, superior rebounder, it's always a good thing to add no matter what your roster looks like."

"I think we'd be comfortable with this group. Solid rookies. All players with upside. Cap room to make a bigger move. Ability to pull off a trade if needed. We think this is a young, exciting team that's going to play the style that we want. It's going to defend hard. It's going to play hard. Take on the identity of coach McHale. I think we'll surprise people with how many wins we get. -- General manager Daryl Morey

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