Houston Rockets: Patrick Patterson Pounds the Paint

By Jeffrey Miles

Nov 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Patrick Patterson (54) dunks against the Chicago Bulls during the first quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

If you know me at all, you know that I have been critical of Patrick Patterson all season. Before sitting out with an injury recently, he has drawn my ire due to his apparent unwillingness to get in the paint and do the dirty work expected from an NBA power forward.

I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words. In fact, I am a student of human behaviour. I love to read body language because I believe that it conveys more truth than someone’s words. I find Patterson’s actions in the win over the New Orleans Hornets very telling.

He publically stated with his words that he wants his starting job back now that he has been cleared to play. What is interesting is how he has chosen to go about taking his job back. Against the Hornets, he clearly made a concerted effort to go to work in the paint. He was grabbing rebounds, making put-backs, slam dunks, tip-ins, layups, and using his physicality to move bodies around. As a result the Houston Rockets dominated in points-in-the-paint. I didn’t even mind the two threes he launched because they were in rhythm, wide open, and he made one of them.

I am curious why he wasn’t pounding the paint before he sat out and watched other players take his playing time. The fact that he went out against the Hornets and did what I have been waiting for him to do seems to indicate that he knows it has been a problem and that it must be rectified if he wants his job back.

I truly hope that his recent actions are not only temporary. I hope he stays in the paint and puts those sculpted shoulders to work the rest of the season. There is still time for him to win my approval and help the Rockets get to the playoffs.