Want a quick review of the Rockets players before the opening of the season? Here's what to expect from the various Rockets players as they push towards competing in a tough Western Conference
Minutes Split – 24 minutes Beverley. 24 minutes Lin. No concrete information on who is the starter. Both players should get similar minutes that will depend on a game to game basis. Overall, this position is a strength. Between Lin and Beverley, the Rockets have two threats at the PG position. This is the rare position battle where both options are competent.
Strengths – Averaged 2.75 steals per 36 minutes in the preseason. He will hound opposing PGs. Even guards like Jrue Holiday struggle against Beverley’s persistence.
Beverley also plays within himself. Despite being the starting PG, Beverley does not try and force plays on offense. He spots up for 3s and has worked hard do develop a floater.
Does not really have a pick and roll game. Limited ability to create offense in the halfcourt. Those weaknesses should be minimized when he’s playing next to James Harden or even Jeremy Lin in a 2 PG lineup.
Jeremy Lin –
Strengths – A very good pick and roll player. He can break down a defense at will. Drives mainly right. Jeremy Lin also has good court vision and will try and get players involved.
Weakness – Lin can be turnover prone. He probes the defense but sometimes makes his decision to jump too early and gets lost. He also tries some risky passes. Apparently he has improved his off the catch jumpshot which should help. Defensively, he gambles like Beverley but is not able to recover quite as fast. He can also get demolished by screens.
Minutes Split – 37 minutes Harden. Minutes Split – 38 Minutes for Chandler Parsons. Garcia will be the backup wing here as well. Might see the rare big lineup with Casspi at the 3. The rest split between PGs/whichever 2 guard can make the lineup
James Harden –
Strengths – It’s nice being a superstar. Harden avoids taking low efficiency shots. He gets to the basket at will. Elite first step. Elite handle. Elite jump shot. He’s quite elite. An underrated skill is his passing ability. Harden’s pocket passes out of the pick and roll are fantastic.
Weakness – Can be turnover prone. He’s never played with an elite big man and has struggled with entry passes. Harden can become slightly lackadaisical on defense.
Chandler Parsons –
Strengths – 5 tool basketball player. Chandler Parsons has worked hard on his shot. He is an elite 3 point shooter from the corners. Parsons has also become a good finisher at the rim. Parsons also has good defensive potential because of his length.
Minutes Split – WHO THE HELL KNOWS? Asik and Dwight should get 28 and 35 minutes respectively. But beyond that? D-Mo? T-Jones? Casspi? Greg Smith if we’re feeling frisky? Parsons/Garcia in small lineups could be frontcourt players. The fit is the question here. Casspi seems to be a great fit next to Dwight or Asik. T. Jones and D-Mo can both stretch the floor. Greg Smith seems to be the odd man out.
Strengths – Asik is an elite defensive center. Via some on/off court stats, Asik was basically a top 5 center purely because of defense last year. Asik is also an elite rebounder on both ends. Finally, Asik loves setting picks. He knows his role on offense and is extremely happy to perform it.
Weaknesses – Catching the basketball. Asik has stone hands. His free throw shooting will also stay as a weakness. However, because he doesn’t really try anything fancy his lack of a jumpshot or refined post game isn’t a factor.
Strengths – Dwight Howard when healthy is the best defensive player in the NBA. His combination of strength and mobility is absolutely unmatched. This turns Dwight into an elite rebounder as well. Dwight finally is a great pick and roll finisher. The amount of attention he requires when he rolls opens things up for 3 point shooters and the ball handler.
Dwight Howard and the pick-and-roll: Different ways he can score (via clutchfansDOTnet)
Weaknesses – Free throw Shooting. Dwight falls to hack a Dwight every once in a while. This can kill the rhythm of the offense. Dwight can also be prone to some dumb fouls every once in a while. Finally, Dwight is extremely turnover prone. He attempts some complex post moves and sometimes they don’t come off. He’s not really an accomplished passer but has definitely gotten better. Dwight’s final issue is he believes he is a back to the basket player. He can try and overextend himself.
Role Players –
Francisco Garcia – A great 3 point shooter. He can’t really do much more. Garcia does play good defense though. He makes the other team work.
Greg Smith – Great hands. Can finish a pick and roll. However, he commits stupid fouls. He does not really protect the rim. His only real offense is dunking.
Terrence Jones – Has a tantalizing skillset. He can stretch the floor but also rebound and play near the basket. Defensively, he hasn’t shown too much. The potential is there. The question is whether his skillset will translate against elite players. He has dominated the D-league.
Donatas Motiejunas – The best post game out of any Rocket. D-Mo plays extremely hard. He has a decent looking 3 point shot. However, he is prone to being lost on the court on both offense and defense. He has bulked up which should help him fight for position.