Trevor Ariza was a consistent force for the Houston Rockets in an otherwise inconsistent season.
At the start of the the 2015-2016 regular season, I said that I was more confident in Trevor Ariza than any other player in a Houston Rockets uniform– not because Ariza is the most talented player on the Rockets roster, but because he is the most consistent.
On both ends of the court, Trevor Ariza brings effort and intensity night in and night out. Even when he performs below expectations, he manages to find a way to have a positive impact on the game.
He is a veteran and leader that both role players and superstars should look towards as an example of what it means to be a professional. His individual play along with his presence makes him a valuable asset to the Rockets franchise.
Next: 2015-2016 Regular Season
2015-2016 Regular Season
81 games, 12.7 ppg, 2.0 stl, 4.5 rpg, .37% 3pt
In order to recognize Ariza’s consistency, one only has to compare his 2015-2016 regular season numbers to his 2014-2015 regular season numbers.
Between the two seasons, he averaged an almost identical amount of points, steals, and assists.
He averaged one less rebound during the Rockets 2015-2016 season, but managed to shoot the three ball better at 37 percent.
Throughout the regular season, Ariza remained the reliable force one would expect him to be. And while the Rockets fell within the bottom half in the league in terms of three point percentage, Ariza shot the three with some consistency.
All that being said, Ariza did show some signs of slowing down. His defense was by no means bad, but it could have been more sharp. As consistent as Ariza may be, everyone begins to falter with age.
Next: 2016 Postseason
Jan 10, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives the ball as Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) defends in overtime at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
5 games, 6.6 ppg, 2.6 stl, .14% 3pt
As much praise as I have given Ariza for being consistent, I would be lying if I said the same was true of him during the Rockets 2016 postseason.
Having shot 37 percent from deep during the regular season, Ariza shot a lousy 14% from three during the playoffs. Perhaps it had something to do with playing the league’s best team five games in a row, but even that doesn’t seem like a good enough excuse for a player’s three-point shooting percentage to drop by more than 20 percent.
With the the Rockets having shot the three worse than any other team in the postseason, it was painful to watch one of the team’s most consistent three-point threats become obsolete.
Outside of his poor shooting performance, most of Ariza’s numbers remained similar to what he averaged during the regular season.
I suspect Ariza’s performance was a fluke, and though he is getting older, I believe he will continue to show consistency in the years to come.
Next: Best Moments
Apr 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) and guard James Harden (13) walk down the court after the Rockets were called for a foul against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 115-106. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Keeping in line with expectations, Ariza’s season was marked by wholeness instead of flashiness. Shooting 37 percent from deep on the season, Ariza put together a stretch of thirty games in which he scored at least one three pointer.
In a January game against Dallas, Ariza knocked down a season high six three pointers.
Next: Ariza's Future
Nov 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives against Portland Trail Blazers forward Allen Crabbe (23) in the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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Ariza is under contract with the Rockets for two more years. A lot will change under new head coach Mike D’Antoni, but I would hope that Ariza remains a Rocket.
Aside from his performance during the Rockets 2016 postseason, Ariza has done everything the Rocket have asked of him– defend the other team’s best player and shoot the three at a solid percentage.
In a system in which a high value will be placed on three point shooting, I would imagine that the Rockets would be reluctant to trade Trevor Ariza.
Furthermore, during a coaching change, it is important to have locker room veterans who are capable of setting a positive tone. If younger players see guys like Ariza buying into a new coach’s system, they will be more prepared to do the same.
As I said at the beginning of last season, I expect as much out of Ariza as I do any other player in a Rockets uniform. Though he may be increasing in age, his future is still bright.
Make sure you check out the current Space City Scoop series including the rest of our year end player analysis, draft prospects worthy of Rockets picking or trading for, our best of reader/fan posts and our end of season Rockets Round Table:
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