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Houston Rockets Draft Day: The Perfect Fit

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What if we knew every NBA teams picks for the next 30 years?? Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Appreciating Grit and Grind

As sports fans we as a public tend to get caught up in all the flash and excitements of the game. In a sense becoming “prisoners of the moment” having a keen eye for the spectacular individual plays that headline social media feeds while also competing for the top spot on Sports Center’s Top 10.

This obsession for flash and the “wow” factor has led to the existence of a position crucial to every contending NBA roster that is night in and night out under appreciated. The Glue Guy.

Glue by nature is adhesive and  “a force that exists in the area of contact between unlike bodies and that acts to unite them” per Webster’s Dictionary.

In basketball terms the Glue Guy is the one player on your roster that’ll willingly take charges, dive on the floor for loose balls, box out on every shot, make the extra pass when necessary, defend the opposing team’s best player and is the energizer bunny who seems to never give up even when all hope is lost.

Every elite NBA roster has one of these gems from Tony Allen in Memphis, Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio and Draymond Green/ Andre Iguodala in Golden State (to name a few).

Too much credit is given to the perennial all stars for a team’s success and not enough to the man that is the jack of all trades. It’s almost like the Batman series, we’re all in awe of the heroic acts of Bruce Wayne saving Gotham and taking down bad guys but rarely is any credit ever given to Alfred Pennyworth (the butler).

Perhaps the greatest “Glue Guy” I’ve ever had the opportunity of watching perform in a Rockets uniform is Shane Battier. With a roster that consisted of names such as Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming  you’d call me crazy if I were to tell you that in a season where a historical 22-game win streak occurred, Battier contributed more to the total wins than future hall of famer McGrady.

Granted, due to McGrady’s issues staying healthy he played just 66 games that season (starting in 62) as opposed to Battier who played in 80 games (starting in 78). During that 80 game span Battier’s win share was 8.2 coming in second behind Yao Ming’s 8.3 while Mcgrady’s stood at 5.8. (win share is an estimated number of wins contributed by a player per Basketball Reference).

Besides the numbers, Battier was widely regarded by many as a coach’s dream and the ultimate teammate. The very definition of a Glue Guy who regardless of the circumstances gave it his all night in and night out.

This year’s draft is loaded with all star caliber talent that can potentially be the cornerstone of a franchise looking to make the step out of mediocrity and into the NBA’s noble.

For Houston, James Harden has openly expressed his opinion on acquiring a player who can take the ball out of his hands and create for his self and others. Particularly, a play making point guard. This conflict can be resolved through free agency as there are a handful of capable guards on the market. Also utilizing more sets that include Harden off ball action similar to what Golden State does with Stephen Curry can be a solution.

Perhaps attacking Houston Rockets draft day with the priority of finding a gem who can come off the bench and be that Glue Guy while matching the intensity of the “HeadBand Brothers” (Corey Brewer, Josh Smith and Jason Terry) would be the rational way to go….

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