Ryan Anderson wants to help the Houston Rockets win with both his offensive and defensive contributions.
Throughout his nine-year NBA career, Ryan Anderson has been known for his ability to shoot the 3-pointer. Anderson came into the league during the 2008-09 season, back when having a stretch-four was more of a luxury instead of a necessity.
Anderson has seemingly matured in a league that has shifted into his favor. The game is all about space and pace, and teams are shooting more 3-pointers than at any other time in NBA history.
And Anderson is playing for the perfect team. Last season, the Rockets took and made more 3-pointers than any team not just in today’s game, but in NBA history. And Ryno was one of the leading contributors. He made 204 3-pointers last season, which was more than any other front court player in the league, including small forwards.
Anderson earns his paycheck from his ability to shoot from beyond the arc, but now he wants to expand his defensive capabilities, via Jonathan Feigen of The Chron.
“I want to be better defensively. I want to be better about communicating on the floor. These are the things I’m going to focus on. Shots are going to come and go. Shooting a 3-pointer isn’t necessarily something I have to work on much more. It’s more so the little things, getting comfortable back end of the offense, playing with Chris (Paul) on the court.”
A defensive minded Ryan Anderson would really benefit the Rockets.
Last season, the Rockets finished 18th in defensive rating, and they’ve tried to adjust their defensive woes with a couple of offseason additions. But the Houston Rockets have to buy in defensively as a team to really see a large improvement.
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When you look at the top of the Western Conference outside of Houston, namely Golden State, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, they all have one thing in common. These teams are strong at the power forward position. Draymond Green, LaMarcus Aldridge and Carmelo Anthony will play an integral role in their teams’ success, and that’s why it’s so important that Anderson is committed on defense.
Anderson isn’t the most athletic player on the court, but he can excel by becoming a positional defender. He needs to lean more on his basketball IQ than his athleticism to always be in the right place at the right time. He can master the fundamentals on defense like always keeping the correct hand in the passing lane and staying down on pump fakes. Half of playing great defense is simply giving a great effort.
Ryan Anderson continues to adjust to both the changes in the game and the role that his team needs him to play. He’s a big part of the Houston Rockets success and it’ll be exciting to see how he fares against Oklahoma City in the preseason opener.