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Are the Houston Rockets stuck in the middle?

The Houston Rockets is probably one of the best teams to execute small ball on-court playstyle and it has worked out for them in a great manner. Let’s see what they can pull off in next season.

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Last updated: 25.11.2020
Houston Rockets | Image Source: Clutchpoints.com

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The Houston Rockets is probably one of the best teams to execute small ball on-court playstyle and it has worked out for them in a great manner.

After trading away Clint Capela for a 3 & D guy in Robert Covington, the Houston Rockets seem to be fully invested in the new small ball era.

The team is led by Houston's shooting guard James Harden & rightfully so. Harden is a constant threat on the offense even when completely covered by multiple defenders. Harden plays the pick & roll to perfection and is nearly impossible to guard in such a situation. An absolute sharpshooter from beyond the arc, I think Harden will soon lead the stats in most 4 point plays and take over Jamal Crawford. Apart from his offense, Harden is an excellent playmaker due to the amount of attention that is given to him by the defense which in turn leaves his other teammates for an open shot.

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Now the most recent star-studded addition to the Rockets in the past season was the arrival of Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Chris Paul. Westbrook & Harden have had a history of playing together back when there could've been a potential big three in Oklahoma. But for now, these two form a deadly dynamic duo on the court. Russell Westbrook is easily still one of the best slashing playmakers in the league right now. Westbrook has an unbelievably quick first step which helps him blow by almost anyone in the league. And he is also one of the most ferocious dunkers in the league as even big men prefer not getting in the way when Westbrook reaches his launching pad and fly's off towards the rim.

The rest of the starting lineup consists of Eric Gordon, Jeff Green & P.J. Tucker.

Gordon has been a floor spacing slasher for most of the time over his career. Though only listed at 6'3, Gordon plays the small forward position for the Rockets. He might be the best shooter after James Harden on the squad. Gordon is a deadeye shooter, always has been but lately he prefers going for the open three than driving towards the rim and well, why not.

Jeff Green has been playing at the power forward position for the Houston Rockets. Green is a great role player who can fill up the stat sheet with great numbers if you choose to not guard him uptight. But what I feel Green doesn't get enough credit for is his defense. He may not be a lockdown defender but is still a great contributor on the defensive side of the floor.

At the center position is P.J. Tucker. Though Tucker is a little undersized to play the center position, he more than makes up for it with his shooting. He can fill it up from the mid-range and also shoot 3's consistently over the game. But expect any trades & new signings by the Houston Rockets front office.

But even after such success in playing small ball, the Houston Rockets seem to be stuck in the middle. They're not too bad as to consider going into rebuilding mode but also haven't had success taking down other top tier teams on a consistent basis. The Rockets did have a good playoff run but eventually lost to the 2020 NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.

If the current ongoing trade rumors turn out to be true, then expect to see some big changes in the team's main dynamic duo. But apart from that, Robert Covington seems like a good addition who might bring some length to the center position, shifting P.J. Tucker to either the power forward position or on the bench.

But expect the Rockets to make an even deeper playoff run if they choose to work on the Harden & Westbrook duo and surround them with good role players who compliment their team star's game.


Current Superstars - James Harden, Russell Westbrook.

Past Superstars - Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Steve Francis.

Past legends - Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, Moses Malone.


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