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Trevor Ariza could have a great year for the Houston Rockets

Photo by Shane Bevel/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Shane Bevel/NBAE via Getty Images
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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.

Strong preseason

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:

Contract year

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.

This season, however, two new free agent signings can take some minutes-load off of his shoulders. P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute are both very capable of playing small forward.

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.

How do you think Trevor Ariza will play this season? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

*All stats via Basketball-Reference*

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