May 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) after game seven of the second round of the NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Clippers 113-100 to win the series 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
One intangible aspect that Ariza brought to Houston this season was considerable playoff experience, which undoubtedly played a huge factor in Houston’s historic comeback from a 3-1 deficit to the Los Angeles Clippers. When the Rockets needed Ariza the most, he came through and played a major role in Houston becoming only the ninth team to ever come back from being down 3-1 to win a series.
Time will tell whether or not this was the right move to make in the long run, but if Ariza can come back next season and bump that shooting percentage up a few points then few will have reason to complain. The move will not only have saved the Rockets nearly $8 million in cap space, but it will have filled a gaping void in Houston’s defense with a veteran leader who fits perfectly into McHale’s offensive scheme.
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