The Houston Rockets have a found a mesh of two big man on the team, which is Daniel Theis and Christian Wood. Both players can stretch the floor as a perimeter threat and screener for the versatile guards on the Rockets. Theis has impressed as a leader for this young team, as he spends time with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. Besides Theis, Wood has shown a small sample size of off-the-dribble shooting. Wood’s biggest acquisition was to work on his ball handling and passing.
“Still work in progress. Christian does a great job of rebounding the ball and pushing it up the floor and rarely makes mistakes in those situations. He usually gets to the rim or a handoff to a teammate and that’s a way to get him involved and get him the ball. And with Theis, he is a great screener and roll. He likes a little short roll, and he makes that little shot. It’s going to take time for those two to learn how to play off each other.” - Stephen Silas
These big men are looked at as twin towers in Houston and want defense to be their strongest point while playing on the court together. They mentioned that it’s important to enforce defense in the starting front court. Wood and Theis want to express the feeling that they can guard 1-5 off switches and stay in front of their imposing player. Coach Silas is feeling well that he has front court of two seven-foot big men that can guard and take shots when needed. Silas said:
“Christian has been really good, and his switching is really good. That one-on-one stuff… if they try to line him up, he is so long and quick he makes it hard for the offensive player. Theis gives us the ability to be more a little standard and defend post-ups without having to double-team. Defensively, they been pretty good together. I feel like we are a better defensive team because of those two guys.”
Silas will be able to position Theis and Wood for multiple favoritism sets, as spectators could see them in the horns set and pick-and-roll, which could turn into lob threats. Also have different variations of screen rotation amongst each other.
Things that I love from Wood is he great at pushing the ball in transition and was seen passing across the court out of double-teams. Wood is starting to evolve his game as versatile big man in the NBA. As he continues grow, he’ll be able to keep defenses on their feet. Hopefully, we see bigger sample size of his off-the-dribble shooting, as that would keep defenders off balance.
I wonder what Christian Wood off-the-dribble shooting percentage will be this season.— Zach Allen (@RenzoTheDon) October 7, 2021
If Wood develops a perimeter game, he’ll have slight reminder of Anthony Davis, as they are compatible because of their height and athleticism. Wood’s defense is crucial in speeding up his development.
Theis game continues to get better in the NBA, as he started with the Boston Celtics. His role on the Chicago Bulls and Celtics was to do the dirty work. Theis’ responsibility was to do the dirty work as a screener and rebounder and an occasional lob threat when open and take the occasional mid-range shot.
He is in a perfect situation because of the rebuild in Houston. The Rockets’ rebuild will allow him to get confident and comfortable. Porter and Theis have built a connection in training camp on and off the court, as the lob connection has begun. Green loves information Theis is sharing with him. He said:
“I talk to him all the time. I look at him as my big bro already. He is just giving me advice off the pick-and-roll and how to come off it. He just has so much knowledge. The Celtics were a great team. He helped Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown get paid, so he just giving me all of these tools.”