The Houston Rockets have agreed to terms with forward Luc Mbah a Moute. His name is not a popular one, but he very well might be come season’s end. Here is a look into what he provides for the team.
Luc Mbah a Moute was a hidden gem in this year’s free agency class. Amongst an offseason full of many polarizing additions, Mbah a Moute quietly joins the Houston Rockets on a one year, veteran minimum deal, which is exactly what Daryl Morey had set out to do throughout the end of free agency.
Mbah a Moute (we’ll call him Luc) is one of the best wing defenders in the league, much similar to Trevor Ariza. He doesn’t provide much of an offensive threat, but he shot 39% from behind the arc last season with the Clippers.
Luc is an elite defender
Luc started for the Clippers last season and would shadow the opposing teams’ best player every night. His ability to cover the shooting guard, small forward and power forward contribute to his defensive prowess. His size and speed combination allows him to muscle up against a Draymond Green and keep up with a Paul George.
He repeatedly locked down opposing defenders and held their efforts to a minimum, lowering their shot percentage by an average of 3%, which is a large differential in the NBA. His defense was amongst the best in the league last season. His name was not known to everybody, but it surely was in Los Angeles. Had he averaged a few more points per game, he might have received some votes for All-Defense.
He brings elite defensive depth to a Houston team that lacks in that area. Daryl Morey is quietly putting together a defensive team. His last three acquisitions were Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, and Luc Mbah a Moute. All three players are among the top defensive players in the league at their respective positions.
As the team stands, Luc stands right behind Ryan Anderson on the depth chart. He plays much like Trevor Ariza, but P.J. Tucker is the likely backup to Ariza. Luc’s skill set makes it impossible to keep him off the court, so letting him play the power forward spot is almost a must.
There is no offense in the league that could be very successful against a Chris Paul – P.J. Tucker – Trevor Ariza – Luc Mbah a Moute – Clint Capela lineup. Perhaps deep into games with a small lead, D’Antoni will go big with this lineup and rest Harden. This offense will still be effective with Chris Paul running the court while Harden is out.
The Rockets have built a better defensive team
Luc’s offense is not going to lose games, as his 3-point shooting is becoming a strength. His defensive versatility could give the Rockets the biggest steal of the 2017 Free Agency period.
This addition is a game-changing move, as Daryl Morey has done exactly what needed to be done. With the Rockets running the second-best offense in the NBA last season, it was obvious that defense needed to be an offseason priority.
The defense is slowly becoming a strength for this team and the depth is turning out even better than last season. The Warriors are a top-heavy team; they have great starters, but not much effort from the bench. With what the Rockets have built this offseason, there is much more talent throughout the entire roster than the Dubs.
The addition of Mbah a Moute further bolsters this team. Houston fans, learn this name and learn it fast; he may not play Patrick Beverley‘s position, but he will be making a lot of stunning plays defending opposing teams’ better players.
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