May 1, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Houston Rockets forward Francisco Garcia (32) reacts to a call in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Rockets defeated the Thunder 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
In Part 1, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Delfino, and Greg Smith all received their performance grades for the season. In Part 2, we take a look at the remaining players on the Houston Rockets roster.
Francisco Garcia: B+
Garcia came to Houston as a throw-in in the trade that brought Thomas Robinson in town. A solid veteran who has spent his entire career with the Sacramento Kings, Garcia’s role with the Rockets was to provide veteran leadership and solid contributions off the bench when called upon. In 18 games with the Rockets, Garcia averaged 6.4 points in 17 minutes, and shot 36 percent from behind the arc.
But Garcia stepped up when the Rockets needed a role player to step up down the stretch, which is why I bumped his grade to a B+. Garcia made 5 spot starts down the stretch, and came up big in the playoffs when he was pressed into the starting lineup after Jeremy Lin went down. His veteran presence, defense on Kevin Durant, and ability to knock down open threes played a big part in the Rockets small success in the playoffs.
The Rockets have a decision this offseason regarding Garcia. He has a $6.4 million option for next season. Garcia has already expressed his desire to return to Houston, but the decision lies in the hands of Daryl Morey.
Patrick Beverley: B+
Apr 29, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley (12) makes a hand gesture against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth quarter in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Thunder 105-103. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Beverley came to the Rockets in January after the team signed him to a 3 year contract while he was playing in Russia. Not much was known about Beverley but he showed signs of being a maximum effort player. He quickly outperformed got minutes as the back-up point guard over Toney Douglas when he was still with the team, and eventually took over the role after Douglas was shipped away.
Beverley averaged 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 17 minutes in the regular season, but his performance in the playoffs is what had people talking. Beverley was inserted into the starting lineup in game 2 of the Thunder series and excelled, scoring in double digits in three of the five games he started. For the six game series, Beverley averaged 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists, while shooting 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc.
The Rockets have to figure out what to do at the point guard position going into next season, but Beverley will definitely play a big part in the Rockets plans, whether as a starter or reserve.
Donatas Motiejunas: C
Motiejunas spent most of the first half of the season in the D-League, but got his chance to be in the Rockets rotation after the deadline trade. D-Mo made 14 starts, showed glimpses of incredible offensive talent, but also showed inconsistencies and inability to rebound. He averaged 5.7 points in 12 minutes for the season, and the Rockets are still high on Motiejunas, who can be an ideal power forward for the Rockets system.
Motiejunas must work on his three point shot and low post defense in the offseason. He was able to stretch his game out to the three point line, but shot just 29 percent from three. The Rockets have a plethora of young, talented power forwards and they are just waiting to see which ones will develop the fastest.
Terrence Jones: C+
Jones is another one of the young, talented power forwards on the roster. He spent most of the season in the D-League, but made huge strides during his time there. He was a D-League all-star, and upon his return to the Rockets in March, Jones looked like a different player than he was at the beginning of the season. He became more polished, more skilled as a power forward and stretched his jump shot out to the three point line. In 19 games with the Rockets, Jones averaged 5.5 points in 15 minutes, and also recorded a double-double.
Jones is very much in the future plans of the Rockets. It’s just a matter of how much he develops this offseason.
Aaron Brooks: C+
Brooks came back to the Rockets in February after the Kings released him. It was originally assumed that Brooks would eventually be slated as the back-up point guard, but Beverley’s production off the bench was so good that Brooks just couldn’t get any minutes.
Brooks was solid when he was pressed into the rotation in the playoffs. His best game was in game 5 when he scored 10 points in 19 minutes off the bench. The Rockets have a decision to make on Brooks, as he has a $2.5 million option for next season.
Thomas Robinson: C-
April 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Thomas Robinson (41) on the bench against the Houston Rockets in the third quarter at the Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Kings 121-100. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Robinson may be the biggest disappointment on the Rockets roster thus far. The number five overall pick from last summer was seen by many as a steal when Houston acquired him at the trade deadline. Robinson played in 19 games with Houston, but just didn’t look fully comfortable whenever he was on the floor. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 13 minutes with the Rockets, and was out of the rotation by mid-March.
Robinson is tremendously talented and athletic, but still is very raw. It’s just a matter of time for him to develop into the impactful player that many scouts think he will blossom into when he was coming out of Kansas.