Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Who is Isaiah Taylor?

By FanSided Staff
Mar 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Northern Iowa Panthers guard Wes Washpun (11) drives against Texas Longhorns guard Isaiah Taylor (1) in the first half during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Northern Iowa Panthers guard Wes Washpun (11) drives against Texas Longhorns guard Isaiah Taylor (1) in the first half during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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Following the 2016 NBA Draft the Houston Rockets did their real work adding 3 undrafted rookies including University Of Texas Product Isaiah Taylor.  The deal signed by Taylor is a partially guaranteed contract.

The Stats

 Position: Guard

Height: 6-1 ▪ Weight: 170

Hometown: Hayward, CA

High School: The Village School (TX)

School: University of Texas

Career: 92 G, 13.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.5 APG

Texas undrafted guard Isaiah Taylor has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell The Vertical.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 24, 2016

As Isaiah Taylor hits a running floater to tie the game vs. the University of Northern Iowa Panthers with two seconds left, UNI inbounds the ball for a half-court heave to win the game, sending Texas home early in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

Taylor lead his Longhorns with a stat line of; 22 points (3-4 from three and 9-11 from the free throw line), 6 assist, and 4 rebounds in the biggest game of the season vs. the Panthers. Taylor led his team to a record of 20-13 with his 5 star recruit Cameron Ridley going down with a broken foot earlier in the season. Taylor posses the clutch gene. Check out Taylor game winning shot vs. the 14th ranked Baylor University:

Longhorn coach Shaka Smart commented on Taylor’s leadership after Ridley went down:

“For a while there [after Ridley’s injury], if you remember, we weren’t very good,” Smart said. “[He] basically took our team and said ‘No, we’re not allowing this to be the end of our season. We’re still going to have a successful year.’”

Taylor’s leadership and speed is top notch excellence! Also Taylor’s work ethic is contagious and is a natural born leader. A pure PG who can create for others and get to the rim at will. In fact I have been in love with Taylor’s game for two years now and I have been begging for Daryl Morey to take a chance on him.

Well it looks like great basketball minds see eye to eye as Morey took a flier on Taylor, signing him to a partially guaranteed contract for the Houston Rockets summer league team. Taylor went undrafted, but you can’t teach heart and dedication to a player.

The Longhorns point guard’s defense is above average and his lateral foot speed is fast and nimble. Any kind of flaws on the defensive end Taylor poses, his speed will for sure make up for it at the next level.

Isaiah Taylor was at Texas for three years and he increased his field goal percentage, two point field goal percentage, three point field goal percentage, points per game, and assist per game every year as a Longhorn. Now lets take a look at Taylor’s stats per 40 minute’s last year:

  • Points Per Game 19.5
  • Assist Per Game 6.4
  • Rebounds Per Game 3.6
  • Steals Per Game 1.1
  • Blocks Per Game 0.3
  • Turnovers Per Game 2.4

Weaknesses

Taylor is a below average shooter, entering into a league where all guards are required to shoot the three ball. Taylor averaged 40.4% from the field and 30.6% from three. An estimated average for NBA players is around 45% field goal percentage and 33% from three.

Guards that can’t shoot, usually don’t last long in the NBA or even get drafted, hence Taylor going undrafted. Taylor’s game is predicated on getting to the basket or a running floater from three to seven feet. Rarely will you see Taylor raise up from the three point line. With James Harden on your team, you will have to be able to shoot the three from anywhere, because of Harden’s passing ability and the double teams he generates each time down the floor on offense.

Harden is the point guard on the Rockets and any guard who plays along side him needs to understand that or it won’t work. If Taylor makes the team expect Morey to send Taylor down to the D-League to develop all year. The improvements is what you look for out of rookies and Morey will send Taylor a list of things to work on in Rio Valley, Texas.

Closing

More from Space City Scoop

I have watched this kid closely for three years now as a Texas Longhorn basketball fan. I am already sold on Taylor working out as a pro if not this year then definitely in the next couple years. The speed of Taylor as a point guard is similar to Rajon Rondo’s acceleration when he 1st came into the league. Taylor’s ability to set up others as a point guard and the low turnovers Taylor generates, makes him a prospect that has a high ceiling. Do you think Taylor will be the point guard for the future?

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