Houston Rockets: Is Isaiah Taylor ready for the NBA?
By Mason Hicks
Isaiah Taylor played a few games for the Houston Rockets last season. From what the team has seen from him up to this point, he may have done enough to earn himself a spot on the roster. But is the young guard worthy of such a promotion?
Throughout the summer league, there have been a few pleasant surprises for the Rockets. Isaiah Taylor is one of them. He has run the offense at an exceptional level and truly given the coaches a good idea of how the players around him can play.
Coming out of Texas, Taylor was an undersized point guard who seemed to get overwhelmed throughout his rookie season between the G-league and the NBA. His game didn’t show much potential as he had very minimal finishing abilities around the rim and wasn’t much of a threat shooting the ball. On top of all else, he wasn’t creating for his teammates effectively.
From what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, it looks like a switch turned on in Taylor’s head. He looks like one of the best floor-runners in the league, repeatedly creating offense for his teammates.
He has also improved his shot percentage in the paint by a wide margin and bumped up his play-making abilities. But perhaps his biggest improvement is on the other end of the floor. His defense has truly been hard to ignore down in the summer league. His aggressiveness on defense reminds me of, dare I say it, Patrick Beverley.
Taylor has been all over opposing guards and really caused some distraction. His play speed on that side of the ball is incredibly fast and it has become obvious. Bev is possibly the best defensive point guard in the league, but Taylor truly does a lot of similar things on that side of the ball and could turn into the player that Beverley was in Houston.
Can Taylor contribute for the Rockets?
The question is whether or not his play can translate to the NBA. Looking at his opportunity, the Rockets have Chris Paul, James Harden and Eric Gordon at guard. Bobby Brown also stands in the way, but Taylor’s age and defensive prowess could propel Taylor past Brown on the depth chart.
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Theoretically, that leaves a spot for Taylor to fill as the fourth guard on the roster. Mike D’Antoni has said that he would like to have Taylor on the team. Now what that means for Bobby Brown, we do not know. But Bobby Brown has been instrumental in recruiting Chris Paul to the team, so he just might stick around and round out the bottom of the roster.
Based on what we’ve seen so far and the coach’s comments, it is likely that Isaiah Taylor begins the season on the roster for the Houston Rockets. Is he ready? I think so. Is there a better duo than James Harden and Chris Paul to learn from? I think not.
His talents are expanding and he may be the answer at point guard for years to come. All we can do is wait. For now, Taylor looks to be a more than serviceable backup point guard.
Related Story: Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets Summer League Recap
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