The Houston Rockets are entering a new era of basketball next season, and few have wonder how this group of players fit in Clutch City.
As the 2016 Summer League draws to a close several players from the 2015 NBA draft seemed poised to make an impact in the upcoming season. Among the sophomore players ready to take the league by storm is Houston Rockets forward Sam Dekker.
Selected by the Rockets with the 18th pick. Dekker’s rookie season came to an unexpected halt, due to a back injury which later required surgery. However, following his surprising performance in Las Vegas this summer. Chris Bumbaca of the Wisconsin State Journal says that the former Badger is ready to put his injury-plagued rookie season behind him.
"The No. 18 overall pick in 2015 did little watching last week during the Las Vegas Summer League. Instead, Dekker, who said he is now completely healthy, averaged 14.4 points, while adding 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in the five games. He shot 39 percent from 3-point range as the Rockets went 2-3. Against Sacramento on July 10, Dekker went 9 of 10 from inside the arc during a 19-point performance. That sample provided a glimpse into Dekker’s goal of attacking the rim and proving himself as an offensively versatile player."
If healthy, Dekker has the potential to develop into a valuable role player off the bench. Preferably as a backup to Ryan Anderson. With Dekker, the Rockets will have a constant stretch four at all times. His skill set will make him a perfect rotation player in Mike D’Antoni‘s system.
As Dekker continues to find his way into the Rockets rotation. Some critics have begun questioning how their current players will fit within Houston’s new system. Since Houston failed to sign a point guard this summer, House of Houston‘s Elliott Harris ponders how Patrick Beverly weather in Houston this season?
"In my opinion, we obviously need a prototype point guard to solidify our offensive attack. While brings a lot to the table defensively, the Rockets are not projected to focus on that side of the ball in the upcoming year. We have not been uber-effective defensively the last few seasons and the hiring of Mike D’Antoni almost ensure that this trend will continue. Patrick Beverley"
Since Steve Francis’ departure in 2004, it seems as if the Rockets have yet to add a solid point guard. Sure, Rafer Aston, Aaron Brooks, and Goran Dragic were solid players in Houston. Unfortunately, their production was never enough to help the Rockets get over the hump. And the same is easily said about Beverly.
Beverley has had a few moments where he ran Houston’s offense flawlessly, yet it was not consistent. With defense an afterthought in Houston, many can expect Beverley to have less of an impact heading into next season.
As the Rockets continue to struggle without a floor general, Houston’s lack of a solid point guard will only double James Harden‘s workload. Eventually, this will keep the Rockets from competing in the west.
Speaking of The Bearded One, James Harden took the time to enter a little summer league competition of his own. According to Jesse Dougherty of the Los Angeles Times, Harden helped lead the LAUNFD team past the Problems team, which featured Lakers Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young.
"By the time the crowd inched into the packed gym at King Drew Magnet High, Harden had LAUNFD on the way to a 98-76 victory. He knifed through the lane and dunked on one possession. On another, the four-time NBA All-Star slowly rocked his dribble down the left side of the court and hit his patented leaning jump shot. Just before coming out with around five minutes left in the fourth quarter and the clock running, former NBA point guard Pooh Jeter bounced an alley-oop pass off the court and Harden leaped from just inside the free-throw line to throw it in."
Although Harden should be working on his defense, it’s always nice to The Bearded One put on an offensive show anytime throughout the year.
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