I don't want to talk about numbers with the Rockets bench right now. Yes, you can say that, since Matt wrote that piece, Terrence Jones has returned. In the two games since the All-Star break -- the world's smallest sample size, admittedly -- he's looked much fresher, bouncier, and is averaging 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.
Beyond numbers, holy crap these guys are fun. Against the Toronto Raptors, who have the same record as the Rockets while playing largely inferior competition, the bench exploded. Brewer had 5 steals, Jones and Smith had 3 blocks each and the Rockets blew out the Raptors with the bench on the floor.
In transition, since joining the Rockets, Brewer is scoring 33.7 percent of his points in transition, tops in the league among players with at least 100 possessions, per NBA.com. He's the key to the Rockets' bench attack, both in creating transition opportunities with his 2 steals per game, and finishing, scoring 1.26 points per transition possession.
But Brewer needs running mates, and J-Smoove and Jones are two excellent ones. There are very few better athletes at power forward in the league than those two, and through their blocks, Jones' hustle and Smith's gifted passing, the trio is downright terrifying.
Jason Terry is a good three-point shooter and his efficiency numbers say he's much better than the eye test does. We don't know how Pablo Prigioni and K.J. McDaniels fit with these three. But anyone clamoring for Jones to move back into the starting lineup is crazy.
This bench unit is the second-best reason to watch the Rockets, after James Harden. The energy they provide is contagious and electric. Big man and point guard depth may still be an issue, but with this trio wreaking havoc in transition, it might not matter that much.
Oh, and the Rockets pay the Wolves tonight, who have been better recently but injuries have hamstrung their depth. The Headband of Brothers should feast again