When the Rockets go to training camp in just a couple of weeks, there will be a number of questions facing them, most notably a lack of a steady power forward. Patrick Patterson, the opening day starter from 2012 is now in Sacramento, and without him, there is not a player on the roster with significant minutes logged at that spot.
There has been talk about moving Howard and Asik together in a massive front court, but a number of spacing issues will likely relegate that strategy to extreme cases. Instead, it appears as if the Rockets are going to rely on Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas to play big minutes in that role.
Both are talented, but despite their flashes down the stretch last year, neither one was involved in the playoff rotation. On a team that has quickly made the transition to contention, counting on them to hold down the power forward spot is quite the risk.
Thus, for our theme day, I choose to bring back
Stromile Swift Robert Horry, the do-it-all forward who helped the Rockets win the 1994 and 95 Finals, and won another five championships along the way. Dave wrote a dissertation length piece of Big Shot Rob yesterday, so I'll pile on to the love coming Horry's way.
On a team that desperately needs talent from the four spot, Horry would be a godsend, giving the Rockets another weapon on both sides of the floor. He never scored a ton, but the Rockets don't need that from a power forward. With James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Dwight Howard on the floor, all the Rockets need is someone who can do the little things and space the floor somewhat. Horry can absolutely handle that.
With his solid midrange and three point shot, Horry would give both Harden and Howard space to work down low. The Rockets wouldn't have to worry about clogging the paint, because Horry could draw his defender to the perimeter and make him pay if he sagged to the basket.
And on defense, the Swiss Army knife could help the Rockets defend against the stretch-fours that are beginning to populate the league. If Howard and Asik played together, their inability to go out to the perimeter would be the team's Achilles' heel, but Horry would fix that in a snap. Add in that his shot-blocking ability would help a potentially slowing down Dwight Howard, and you have a tremendous fit defensively.
Finally, most importantly of all are his intangibles. James Harden is 24. Dwight Howard is a big baby sometimes. Both are being counted on heavily to lead a still very young team. Add in the sage Robert Horry and the problem of leadership would go poof in an instant. Down the stretch, no team would fight harder for victories, and if it came down to a final shot, it would be obvious who to give the ball to. Big Shot Rob.