After a few games, we know a few things about our beloved Rockets. 1) Harden is very good; 2) Lin hasn't gotten his swagger back quite yet 3) Patterson's offensive game is looking better 4) Omer Asik is a rebounding machine, a defensive juggernaut, and scores fewer baskets in the paint than JJ Reddick; 5) Parsons isn't quite slumping, but isn't quite impressing us like he did last year; and 6) Toney Douglas should be banished from the NBA. Our defense is much better than last year and our offense is not quite where it needs to be. One reason for this is lack of a stand out power forward. I'm going to look at the possible solutions to the problem and give some pluses and minuses. 1) Patrick Patterson: I was a bit down on the kid last year, but he's come along very well this year. He's displaying a better touch from all over the court and he's always been a smart defensive player. What Patterson lacks is athleticism, the knack for rebounding, and ideal height for a 4. With all that said, I think Patterson could be a very effective weapon if used properly. Right now we are running screen and rolls or iso's almost exclusively. Incorporating more spacing and movement would help integrate the entire team into the flow of the offense and open up more opportunities for the forwards. His lack of rebounding is covered up largely by Asik but his lack of athleticism is exposed when McHale moves him out of his natural position. Overall fit (on a scale of 1-10) 8 2) Marcus Morris: Morris has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. He's played hard, made some plays and shots within the flow of the offense, and hasn't made many glaring mistakes on his rotations. Again, Morris isn't the ideal height for a 4 and is not a spectacular athlete. He's not a stalwart defensive player, but isn't poor on that end either and he's not an impact rebounder. He's definitely a tweener. I like him with the second unit and wouldn't move him off that rotation. Overall fit 6 3) Terrence Jones: Everyone's favorite rookie. I love the kid and think, in the long term he can provide us with a lot of what we'd need from a standout 4. He rebounds, is intelligent, plays with maturity, is long, has good range, is a willing defender, and is defensively versitile (he can match up with 3-5). Jones isn't a superstar athlete but he's adequte and you'd have to be a bit concerned about turnovers and the like with a rookie. I've been very vocal on the board that he and Morris should be the forwards on the 2nd unit. I don't know if he offers you a very different skill set than does Patterson though, so I'm hesitant to say he's the "savior" of our 4 position. Overall 8 4) DMO: If you're going to find the answer on the roster, I think this is the guy. Internationally, the guy was good from all over offensively and a good rebounder. In preseason, he seemed to be overthinking things, which is understandable but it would concern me short term not long term. The guy is huge, has a soft touch around the basket, is a pretty good passer, runs the floor well for a big, and has done it professionally before. With legitimate range on his shot, he can provide the stretch the current offense needs and with his relatively refined post game, he can provide impact scoring in the middle. His weaknesses come primarily from his frame, the guy is pretty slight. Going up against someone like Faried, you'd probably see him outmuscled a lot underneath. If we keep losing, I'd give the guy some run, more sooner than later. Overall fit 9 Royce White: Incomplete. I haven't seen enough of the kid to tell you exactly what he brings. I'll revisit this when/if we get a better look at him in the future.
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