Valentine’s Day is in full swing and love is back in the air. While it has been difficult to not be pessimistic about this Houston Rockets’ season, I’d like to take some time to show some love to our players as I figure today is the perfect time to do that.
Alas, here is one thing that I love about each Rockets player.
What I love? Redemption.
High expectations may have been unfairly placed on him to start his career, and while he may have not shown the best on-court judgement early on, he’s really shown signs of improvement lately. It’s not even all his fault. He just needs the opportunity to fail and the opportunity to succeed. A rise in his minutes over the past few weeks have netted encouraging results and hopefully this will allow him to become a mainstay in the rotation, especially after the trade of Garrison Mathews.
What I love? Relentlessness.
Fire up the X-ray machine and you’ll clearly see that Tari has that dog in him. That high motor of his will keep him in the league for a long time. He has stat sheet stuffer written all over him. Put him in a winning situation and I think he’s the type of guy to put your team over the top.
What I love? He’s a three-point sniper!
I’m just saying he’s shooting a team-high 46.9 percent from behind the arc this season. Spot him in the corner, run him off some screens, heck, let him pull up from 40 like Damian Lillard at this point. It’s a very small sample, but I’M JUST SAYING.
What I love? Shock Value.
Jalen will make a couple of explosive moves each game that are eye-popping and will just leave you in disbelief. I’m excited to see how his game matures and how those uber-athletic plays take the roof off of the building once the magnitude of Rockets’ games increase.
What I love? Ability to keep a job.
He just got here so I can’t give too much input, but he’s managed to stay in the league so he must be a pretty good teammate. Welcome to the squad, Frank.
What I love? Boban.
Just as an entity. He’s awesome. Nothing but great vibes with this guy. Glad to have you back big guy.
Kenyon Martin Jr.
What I love? High-flying.
There’s a reason he was in the Dunk Contest. He’s a pure highlight factory. I could’ve went with chemistry as the aspect I love most about him, but I’m a sucker for the blocks and dunks. He just unlocks so much more for this team when he’s on the court, whether it’s defense, fast-break opportunities, or even the PnR game. I’m very glad he made it through the trade deadline and has been given the chance to hold a starting position here in Houston.
What I love? His contributions...
If you’re not a great team and your goals are to stay that way, you might as well give everyone an opportunity to play. He might be the perfect guy for this 2022-23 season.
Kevin Porter Jr.
What I love? Clarity on his role.
It may not be clear to management, but I’m very clear on the fact that KPJ isn’t being used right. Some tough conversations may need to be had, but it’s apparent that he isn’t best utilized as a starting point guard. I think he’d thrive in a sixth man role as that third guard who can run the bench unit, but obviously that would take a sacrifice on his end. Will the team see it the same way going into the offseason? We shall see...
What I love? Creativity.
This was a no-brainer for me. He’s just a fun player to watch. It has to be rewarding as a teammate to know that if you just keep moving and cutting towards the rim that Şengün will eventually find you. I, like many of the Rockets’ faithful, hope that the team continues to evolve around him as a primary decision-maker. He’s shown that he is plenty capable.
Jabari Smith Jr.
What I love? Passion.
He may be the ninth youngest player in the league this season, but you can tell he cares about winning. How do I know? I know because he’s not one to back down. It doesn’t matter if it’s the opposing team or even his own teammates. That winning attitude is important and I’m betting we’ll see the best of him when this team finally returns to it’s winning ways.
What I love? Versatility.
We really missed him at the beginning of the season when he was battling injuries, and for good reason. He’s been described as a “Swiss Army knife” and can seemingly fit into any role you may ask of him. He’s now the longest-tenured Rocket and the third oldest player on the roster. There’s a five year gap between him and the next oldest player. As wild as that may sound, he has all of the chops to fit into that “veteran” role.
TyTy Washington Jr.
What I love? Potential
I know he’s got the talent, it’s just a question of when they’re going to allow him to use it on a continual basis. I believe he has the ability to be a steading presence at point guard, which is something that we could use. He’s been getting inconsistent run as of late, so it would be nice to see him get consistent opportunities going forward with KPJ out and now that the roster is seemingly set post-trade deadline and buyout season.
What warms your heart about watching the Rockets now and going forward?