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TomShoe's Player Profiles: Houston Rockets

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TomShoe's Player Profiles: Houston Rockets

So, it turns out "Mr. PER" John Hollinger is putting up his updated player profiles for this year. I know many people want to look at them, but ESPN can be a real B- when they're putting up paywalls and shoving the benefits of insider in your face every other article. So, for sh*ts and giggles, also because I'm pulling my hair out waiting for either Oct. 5 (Start of the preseason), or Oct. 30 (start of the regular season), I might as well post them here, for nbadraft.net and the whole internet to enjoy.

Sorry about the lateness of this post, I was kinda busy today. But this is the first lottery team of this profiles series. To be honest, it's impossible to get to good of a read on how this team is going to be, since they have Lin and Asik, but the roster is full of inexperienced rookies. I'm not sure if Morey's trying to suck, but they only thing they don't want is to be stuck in the dreaded "Treadmill of Mediocrity" again. Anyway, Rockets up, Bucks tomorrow, and the only team not named the Spurs, Lakers, Heat, Celtics, or Mavericks to win a title in the last decade, the Pistons, coming Wednesday.

Enjoy.

-TomShoe

PROJECTED STARTERS

JEREMY LIN, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

21.9
4.1
9.1
20.2

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Legendary superhero who once played point guard for the Knicks.
+ Excellent penetrator who draws heaps of fouls. Looks more to score than to pass.
+ Turnover-prone. Shot very well from midrange. Active defender who gets steals.

Analysis
Lin enjoyed about the most sensational two-week entry into a team's starting lineup that a player could possibly experience, before a knee injury abruptly ended the Linsanity a month later. But taking a step back and looking at the big picture, the standout feature of Lin's season was activity -- some of it good, some of it bad. Shots, turnovers, steals, fouls, free throws -- Lin created all of them in much greater quantity than most.

In particular, the fact he could be such a high-volume shot creator speaks well for his future, and his worst trait (turnovers) is one that often portends improvement in future seasons. Lin led all point guards in free throw attempts per field goal attempt at 0.48 and also led all guards in fouls drawn at more than one every six minutes, according to NBA.com. In fact, only four players in the league drew more fouls per minute, and they were all frontcourt players.

Another notable feature was how well he shot from midrange. Not known as a shooter, he made 44.9 percent of his 2s from beyond 10 feet, which is simply outstanding. He didn't shoot 3s well, however (32.0 percent), and I'd say there's considerable doubt whether he'll shoot so well from midrange again.

As a point guard, Lin makes the hit-ahead pass well, but in the halfcourt he looks mainly to score. The problem is that he is so mistake prone, ranking 63rd out of 70 point guards in turnover ratio and 56th in pure point rating. Some argue he's really an undersized 2 for this reason; in particular, his left hand needs work. He did, however, get a high percentage of his assists at the rim, a good omen going forward.

Defensively, the activity theme continued. Lin drew mixed reviews for his work, with high rates of steals (seventh among point guards) and blocks (15th) and a strong rebound rate, but a vulnerability to speedy guards and a tendency to gamble. The Knicks defended better with Lin on the court, but the bulk of his minutes came when the Knicks' worst defenders were injured. Let's just say the jury's still out at this end, but he shows promise at becoming an impactful, ball-hawking disruptor.

KEVIN MARTIN, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

21.6
3.5
3.1
16.1

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Quick, lean scoring guard with a great shot fake and penchant for drawing fouls.
+ Has odd, left-leaning release but is very accurate. Iffy handle but a good first step.
+ Improved defender but lacks strength and intensity. Has been injury-prone.

Analysis
Martin took 259 shots at the rim in 2010-11. Last season he took 63. Yes, he played half as many minutes, but even after adjusting for the playing time this was a staggering decline. After a season in which he outscored every shooting guard in the league on a per-minute basis, Martin spent much of 2011-12 as a spot-up shooter. His prolific free-throw rate cratered too -- from 8.4 a game to just 4.5 -- and as a result Martin's normally phenomenal true shooting percentage was pretty ordinary last season.

It didn't help that the spot-up shooting didn't work out so great either; Martin made only 34.7 percent of his 3s. A 42.5 percent mark on long 2s was more in line with his history, and his assist and turnovers were some of the best of his career. As a result, he was still a fairly effective offensive player ... he just wasn't the lethal, highly efficient killer he'd been a year earlier.

Martin also missed 26 games, contributing to a worrisome trend: He's missed at least 20 games in four of the past five seasons. Even the pros were cons last year; Martin had a career-high assist ratio but also had some of the league's cheapest dimes.

Defensively, at least, he showed some positive signs. Martin normally ranks among the league's most flammable defenders, but last season he was passable. Not great, but passable. The Rockets gave up 1.0 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court and Synergy gave him poor grades, but opposing shooting guards had just a 12.6 PER against him.

CHANDLER PARSONS, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

13.6
6.6
3.2
13.7

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Second-year forward who has great size and athleticism for his position.
+ Average shooter from the floor, terrible from the line. Good handle, likes to go left.
+ Solid defender with great hands, but needs to add strength and game awareness.

Analysis
Houston's second-round dice roll on Parsons paid off, as he beat out its first-round pick to take over the starting small forward spot and contributed a highlight reel of follow jams. While he might want to rein himself in a bit on flying in for tip-dunks -- it looks great when it works, but starts a 4-on-3 the other way when it doesn't -- he showed himself to be an NBA-caliber athlete with size and ball skills.

Now he needs to work on the shooting. Parsons is barely passable from outside (33.7 percent on 3s, 35.8 percent on long 2s) and positively hideous from the free-throw line, where his 55.1 percent mark included at least one that was banked in by accident. He rarely draws fouls, perhaps in hopes of avoiding the stripe, but he needs to up that part of his game too.

Defensively, he needs to add strength, but one can see him as a stopper against big wings down the road. He has great hands and athleticism and, even as a rookie, his defensive stats were solid -- Houston was slightly better than break-even with him on the floor and Synergy gave him solid grades too. Also, he is big enough that he can play smallball 4, and often did.

It's still not clear if all this adds up to a long-term starter, but for a second-rounder he was a nice find who should be a rotation player for several years.

TERRENCE JONES, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long-armed, left-handed 4 with 3-point range and excellent ball skills.
+ Inconsistent shooter. Motor, attitude major questions. High basketball IQ.

Analysis
Jones has drawn comparisons to Lamar Odom as a multi-talented combo forward who nonetheless frustrates with his knack for dialing in and out of games. Jones has a bigger frame, however, and has earned comparisons to another Kentucky product -- Antoine Walker -- for his zest for 3-pointers despite a mediocre outside shot.

At his size he's almost certainly a 4 in the NBA, and with the trend toward floor-spacers and ballhandlers at the position he could prove to be a very useful one. His main enemy right now seems to be himself. If he can just play hard all the time and go to the basket he'll be fantastic, but there's enough doubt about this that he was still available at No. 18.

OMER ASIK, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

8.4
13.5
1.4
12.4

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Mobile big man with great defensive awareness and shot-blocking skill.
+ Mistake-prone offensive player. Brings ball down around basket. Can finish.
+ Outstanding pick-and-roll defender. Limited post game and ball skills.

Analysis
Really? This guy? A lot of people are wondering why Houston invested $25 million in a stone-handed center who averaged only 8.4 points per 40 minutes, had the third-highest turnover ratio in the league (see Kendrick Perkins comment), shot 45.6 percent from the line and bears a shocking resemblance to Chef Linguini from the movie "Ratatouille."

Look deeper, though. Watch this guy play defense. Asik is a monster, one of the five or 10 best players in the league at this end. He was 10th among centers in blocks per minute, but that doesn't even begin to tell the story. Of all the players in the league to defend at least 200 plays last season, Synergy rated him first. The Bulls gave up 7.6 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court, the second straight season they had a massive disparity in his minutes, and he finished fifth in the league in rebound rate and 10th among centers in blocks per minute.

In his second season, he's still improving too. Asik cut his foul rate but still has a ways to go -- last year's rate of one every eight minutes is still too high for a starter -- and his proclivity for defensive three-second violations has dipped as he's become more accustomed to the league's rules.

Offensively, he had the fifth-best free-throw rate in the league but couldn't make a foul shot -- including the crucial season-ending misses in the Philadelphia series. Improving that stroke would go a long way toward making him useful offensively. So would teaching him what a legal screen is, since he apparently has no idea. And while we're at it let's stick a catcher's mitt on his non-shooting hand.

But he can stink on offense and still have value -- his defense and rebounding are that good. That's why Houston made this bet.


RESERVES

PATRICK PATTERSON, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

13.2
8.0
1.6
12.6

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Solidly built big man with a good midrange jumper. B athlete.
+ Smart, physical player who should become a good defender.
+ Subpar rebounder. Needs to draw fouls and refine his low-post game.

Analysis
Patterson suffered through a hugely disappointing second season, as his one strength from his rookie season -- shooting percentage -- turned into a major weakness, while everything else either got worse or failed to improve. The Rockets tried to feature him in post-ups more, but he is hyper on the block and needs to slow down. In fact if they had just cut those plays out he might still have had a decent season -- Patterson shot only 37.6 percent from 3-to-9 feet but took 133 shots from that distance.

The good news is that he still makes midrange jumpers, hitting 41.1 percent of his long 2s; that was a decline from the unsustainably high 50 percent mark of his rookie year, but still shows he can be a real threat in the pick-and-pop. As usual with this type of player, he also had a very low turnover ratio and a pathetic free throw rate -- Patterson earned just 57 freebies the entire season.

Defensively, Patterson's rebounding was a real disappointment -- he finished 63rd out of 70 power forwards in defensive rebound rate. However, his other defensive metrics were pretty solid. Patterson isn't a great athlete but he's smart and fairly strong, and he should continue to be solid in this area. The problem is that the rest of his game morphed into the second coming of Malik Allen. He's a fringe rotation player if his production on offense and the glass doesn't improve.

CARLOS DELFINO, SF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

12.6
5.5
3.0
11.3

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Mellow, solidly built wing who likes corner 3s. Rebounding has tailed off.
+ Good handle and court vision but no burst. Has all but stopped drawing fouls.
+ Solid defender. Average mobility but big with great hands.

Analysis
Delfino had a solid season from outside the arc, making 36.0 percent while taking more than half his shots from out there. Inside? That was a bit of a disaster, unfortunately. Delfino shot 44.9 percent on 2s with the fifth-lowest foul rate among small forwards, and of equal concern was how rarely he got a shot at all. He averaged just 12.7 points per 40 minutes, so despite his usual solid ballhandling numbers, he was a net negative at the offensive end.

Delfino has also declined as a rebounder -- he was among the best at his position until two years ago, but has been below the league average since -- further indication that the 30-year-old has perhaps lost some athleticism.

That concern carries over to the defensive end. Delfino was third among small forwards in steals per minute, but the rest of his numbers were absolutely brutal. Opposing small forwards shredded him for a 19.7 PER, according to 82games.com, and Synergy graded him one of the worst defenders in the league. The Bucks also gave up 9.5 points per 100 possessions more with him on the court.

JEREMY LAMB, SG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long-armed wing with great lateral quickness. Potentially an elite defender.
+ Good finisher at the rim and a decent outside shooter. Needs strength. Tends to coast.

Analysis
Lamb has two elite-level skills, and that's what got him drafted in the lottery. First is his defense; at 6-5 with long arms and top-notch athleticism, he shows obvious potential as a wing stopper. He'll need to add muscle and dial up his intensity to get there, but the ability is clear.

Second, he's a superb finisher who shot 60 percent on 2s at Connecticut. While he's only average as a deep shooter, and his rebound rate was shockingly ordinary for such a good athlete, those flushes at the rim give him an important boost. He can probably get enough dunks and finishes to offset average outside shooting and limited shot-creation skills. If those skills can get him on the court, the 20-year-old Lamb should be able to develop considerably from there.

ROYCE WHITE, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Ballhandling combo forward with great court vision. Strong, physical player.
+ Drew tons of fouls as a collegian but is a bad foul shooter. Has had off-court issues.

Analysis
White is an elite talent but slipped in the draft because of questions about his anxiety disorder, including a fear of flying. If he can keep his head together and get on planes he'll be a very unique player, one with a bruising physique but the ballhandling and passing skills of a guard. It's not clear whether he's a 3 or a 4, though at 261 pounds I'd say he's much more likely to be a 4 long-term. He'll be a bit undersized at that spot, but may make up for it with muscle.

Offensively, meanwhile, he'll have to upgrade his perimeter game or opponents will just lay off and sit on his drives. And it's not clear how that game fits when he's on the weak side -- he really needs the ball in his hands. Nonetheless, he could be a more scoring-minded, chiseled version of Boris Diaw, and that's a scary thought.

DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Skillful, ballhandling big man in Toni Kukoc/Dejan Bodiroga mold. Left-handed.
+ Average shooter and not much of an athlete. Sees floor well; a point forward.
+ Defense a big question. Lacks muscle for 5, but may struggle guarding perimeter.

Analysis
Motiejunas shot well in Europe, but that may be an outlier -- he has a line-drive shot with a low release point and it doesn't always rotate correctly off his hand. The biggest question about him is that he needs the ball in his hands to succeed and take advantage of his superior ballhandling skills for his size. But he may not be good enough to run an NBA offense through.

Defensively, he's going to struggle. He's neither strong, nor athletic, nor tough. He's fairly mobile, however, and that may be able to carry him through as a sixth man, point-forward type if his offense lives up to its billing.

JaJUAN JOHNSON, F

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Long, slim forward who defends and blocks shots. Needs more strength.
+ Limited post game and ball skills. Good midrange shooter with a high release.
+ Very poor rebounder for his size. Runs the floor well. Has poor offensive instincts.

Analysis
Johnson appeared in bits and pieces of 36 games and proved competent, if hardly exceptional, building some hope that he can establish a more regular role in his second season. A rail-thin 4, Johnson's biggest shortcoming is a lack of easy baskets. He drew just nine free throw attempts all season and nearly three-quarters of his shots were outside the basket area. While it's nice that he can space the floor, he wasn't all that good at it as a rookie (34.2 percent on long 2s) and can finish inside when he gets the chance.

Johnson also had low rates of rebounds and assists; one hopes he can expand those areas as he gains both strength and experience. But he was old for a rookie and turns 24 in February, so he doesn't have all day.

Defensively, his lack of muscle is also a worry, but given the shift toward small, floor-spacing 4s it may not hurt him that much. The limited data suggest he was quite good at this end as a rookie -- he had excellent Synergy ratings and permitted just a 6.6 PER to opposing power forwards, according to 82games.com; subjectively, he seemed mobile and long enough to be quite useful at this end.

TONEY DOUGLAS, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

15.6
4.3
4.5
9.8

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Tough, defensive-minded combo guard who can pressure the ball.
+ Perimeter shooter with a scorer's mentality. Rarely breaks down the defense.
+ Short for a shooting guard but more comfortable off the ball. Good rebounder.

Analysis
If you look up the word disaster in the dictionary you'll find Douglas' 2011-12 season. After two promising campaigns in New York, he was the opening day starting point guard and couldn't possibly have done more to lose his job, ranking among the bottom five point guards in six separate categories.

Douglas was a shoot-first point guard who couldn't shoot. He had the fourth-worst assist ratio and the third-worst pure point rating among point guards, so clearly distribution isn't his thing, and that might have been OK if he had provided scoring.
Worst TS%, 2011-12

Player
Team
TS%

Shawne Williams
Bkn
37.2

Toney Douglas
NY
39.3

Mike Bibby
NY
39.4

Austin Daye
Det
39.8

Ben Wallace
Det
40.4

Min. 500 minutes

Instead he was an empty trip machine, posting a horrifying 39.2 TS% that ranked as the worst mark of any point guard; only New Jersey's brutal Shawne Williams saved him from being the absolute worst (see chart). Douglas shot 38.7 percent on 2s and had one of the lowest free-throw rates in basketball (just 26 attempts all season), but the real killer was that he kept shooting 3s and kept missing them. After two solid seasons from downtown, Douglas slumped to 23.1 percent last season. Yuck.

The good news is that Douglas can't possibly shoot this badly again, and he's still a pretty solid defensive player. I don't think anyone will count on him as a starter again, but in the right environment he can be a useful combo guard.

SHAUN LIVINGSTON, PG

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

12.1
4.3
4.9
11.7

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Tall, slender, injury-prone point guard. Great court vision but forces passes.
+ Terrible outside shooter. Can make short turnarounds from the mid-post.
+ Good defensive player due to length and quickness. Strong rebounder.

Analysis
Livingston's scoring numbers from 2010-11 seemed suspicious, and it turns out with reason -- his scoring rate fell right back to its historic level last season. So while his other numbers didn't change much, he was a pretty mediocre offensive player overall.

Livingston played mostly as a 2 last season and that was part of the reason for his scoring dip, as he could no longer post up tiny point guards for his offense. He still drew a lot of fouls and had a strong pure point rating for a wing, but spotting up isn't his thing -- he made only two 3-pointers all season.

Livingston did better from shorter ranges, hitting 39.3 percent of his long 2s. But his forays to the rim were surprisingly rare -- barely a quarter of his shots -- so he had a fairly low TS% and didn't create a ton of shots overall. Given his inability to space the floor he's much better off playing the point, and it appears he may move back there this season if Houston doesn't cut his partially guaranteed deal.

Defensively, the story improves. Livingston had a disappointingly low steals rate on the wing but had the length to guard the position effectively. His metrics were solid, if unspectacular, although power players can give him some trouble. Again, he's better off at the point where his length is a much bigger asset, as his defensive numbers as a 1 were consistently impressive.

MARCUS MORRIS, F

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Short-armed combo forward with a knack for scoring. Good midrange shooter.
+ Tough, but an average athlete. Needs to improve his 3-point shot and get to the line.
+ Below-average rebounder. Decent lateral quickness. Very good at using glass.

Analysis
Morris played only 126 minutes as a rookie and would probably like to forget most of them, shooting just 29.6 percent in his token garbage-time moments with poor numbers across the board.

However, his D-League stint was much more promising. In 11 games for Rio Grande Valley, he averaged better than 27 points per 40 minutes with very solid rebound numbers. He made only 12 of his 47 3s, which is an issue -- although he fancies himself a wing, I still suspect his best long-term position is the 4. Players of this size that leave school as "tweeners" are nearly all full-time power forwards by the end of their rookie contract.

But a bigger question is whether he's an NBA player at all. Despite poor results in his NBA action, his D-League stint offered encouraging evidence that the answer is a yes.

GREG SMITH, C

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Post-up big man with catcher's mitts for hands. Wide, strong frame.
+ Short for a 5. Not a great athlete or shot-blocker. Limited shooting range.
+ Bad free-throw shooter. Motor is a question mark.

Analysis
My Draft Rater had Smith as the 20th-best prospect in the 2011 draft, so I was pleased to see him play fairly well in his limited opportunities last season. Smith's hands are freakishly large, and you'll often see him catch entry passes with one hand and immediately palm it -- the way you or I might catch a tennis ball.

Smith played only eight games for the Rockets and did nothing special in his 69 minutes. However, he completely thrashed the D-League, and the 26-game, 732-minute sample is a difficult one to ignore. At that level he shot 66.8 percent with a high free throw rate; while his other rate stats were only decent, he showed he can be a potent finisher and low-post weapon. Alas, his 56.5 percent free throw mark continued his woes from the college level.

GARY FORBES, F

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

17.1
5.7
3.0
12.6

Stats are per 40 minutes | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Slashing wing who can score around the basket and draw fouls.
+ B athlete and a mediocre outside shooter. Good scoring instincts.
+ Improved defender but crushed as a smallball 4. Turnover prone.

Analysis
If Forbes could just cut his turnovers, he'd be a very useful rotation player. Forbes is a sneaky-good scorer; he can get to the basket, draw lots of fouls, and is just good enough from outside that you have to respect his jumper. The problem is all the turnovers en route; he was 61st out of 67 small forwards in turnover ratio and 59th in pure point rating. Bizarrely, Toronto used him as a point forward at times, but he doesn't have great handle or court vision. With his defense already a question mark and his shot-creation just a mild positive, the sum of his efforts is a fringe player.

Forbes is getting better from outside, though: Last season he hit 34.5 percent of his 3s and 38.7 percent of his long 2s. He doesn't need to get that much better from those ranges to become a real multifaceted threat. Although Forbes isn't a great athlete, he's clever, ranking 12th among small forwards in free throw rate with his slashes to the cup.

Defensively, he made major strides last season. While nobody will put him on the All-Defense team, Forbes' metrics all improved substantially. Synergy placed him above the league average and the Raptors gave up fewer points per possession with him on the court; additionally, he cut his foul rate dramatically. The one exception was as a 4 in smallball lineups, where he was brutalized; he just doesn't have the size to play that way.

JON BROCKMAN, PF

Hollinger's 2012-13 Projections

PTS
REB
AST
PER

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Did not play 500 NBA minutes last season | Hollinger player card

Scouting report
+ Aggressive, physical, undersized forward who loves to crash the offensive boards.
+ Has few other offensive skills. Struggles to finish. Not a good outside shooter.
+ Willing defender who enthusiastically uses his six fouls. Never blocks shots.

Analysis
Brockman played just 35 games and his numbers descended for a third straight season, leaving his future very much in question. While he continues to be a beast on the glass, yanking down nearly a board every three minutes, his lack of an offensive role is a major impediment. Brockman made only a third of his shots and averaged a meager 6.3 points per 40 minutes; in fact, he nearly had more fouls than points.

Defensively, Brockman also has issues since he's undersized and he doesn't have great leaping ability. He blocked one shot in 239 minutes, an amazing feat for a frontcourt player, although his overt physicality can be useful in the right matchup. Brockman also has decent feet and defends passably against pick-and-rolls.


Raef LaFrentz
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Royce White is still very

Royce White is still very much under the radar as a potential candidate for ROY. If he gets minutes (and I believe he will due to the fact that McHale is one of his biggest advocates) he can be a very productive and exciting player.

Siggy
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Patrick Patterson should be

Patrick Patterson should be starting at the 4. He's a better roll/pop option than Jones for Lin who depends a lot on ball screens.

cornegg
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please release

Jon Brockman!

joecheck88
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I'm not saying Jones is ready

I'm not saying Jones is ready but all of the PF on this team may not be. Patterson is probably the safest bet but he really underwhelmed last year. Royce White scares me a bit. His lack of shooting is concerning at the position he will be playing. Also with Jeremy Lin, he won't handle the ball like he did in college. I don't think he will figure it out his rookie year. I am highest on Terrance Jones at this point. I think he will be someone that creates mismatches and the Rockets will use that.

Mr. 19134
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I think Monti should be the

I think Monti should be the starting PF as his game and 7 foot frame would compliment Asik nicely amd give Houston the best chance at an imposing frontcourt.

Also I wouldn't be surprised if Marcus Morris or Royce started at SF as Houston could use Parsons experience and versatility off the bench.

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---

I'm not a Rockets fan, but I'm a big fan of all of their rookies. If they all stay on the team I really hope a few of them surprise guys who are thinking the team will get nowhere being so young. I expect White and Motiejunas in particular to be able to contribute very well by mid-season - as long as they are utilized the right way of course.

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