Trevor Ariza has looked very sharp so far this preseason. He is hitting his shots and rebounding at a high level. Can he stay consistent and have a great year for the Rockets?
Trevor Ariza has been a big part of the Houston Rockets ever since Chandler Parsons left. Ariza is a player that can guard the best forward on the other team on one end and then drain 3s on the other. Last year, he had a rough season shooting it from deep, however. He definitely has the ability to bounce back and have a fantastic 2017-18 campaign.
In four preseason games, check out the stats that Trevor Ariza put up:
Against OKC: 18 points, 5/7 from deep
Against the Sharks: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4/11 from deep
Against NYK: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4/8 from deep
Against Memphis: 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4/6 from deep
Granted, this is the preseason and teams are not playing their best defense. It is still nice to see Trevor Ariza put up some great stat lines. Let’s take a look at two reasons why he could have a nice season:
Historically, Trevor Ariza plays very well the year before he his free agency. Well, guess what? It’s a contract year for him. He wants to get paid next summer in what may be his last multi-year deal.
Last contract year for Ariza, he averaged 14.4 points per game on 41% shooting from deep. The Rockets would definitely take that production from him this year. Having another knockdown shooter producing would take the team to another level offensively.
More help at the forward positions
The depth behind Trevor Ariza has been pretty bad in the past. As such, he has consistently been one of the most-played Rockets over the last few years, averaging around 35 minutes per game.
With fewer minutes, Ariza should be fresher throughout the season. He can focus on his shot a little bit more and not have to worry about guarding the best player the entire game. Even when he is on the court, he can share it with Tucker or Mbah a Moute to give him a break defensively. That’s the beauty of the small-ball offense of the Rockets.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*