Against the Warriors in the Conference Finals, one big man on the Rockets could play a big role.
Ryan Anderson has seen his role diminish slowly in the playoffs. He returned from an ankle injury and at first, got minutes at the backup center position.
He hasn’t gotten more than 10 minutes in a game since the last game of the Minnesota series, though.
Going against the Golden State Warriors, Ryno could see himself regain the lost minutes and have a huge role for the Rockets.
Let’s look at how he can do just that:
Stretching the floor off the bench
Let’s be real: the Warriors don’t have that great of players at the center position. JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia aren’t bad players, but they certainly have fluctuating minutes for the squad from Oakland.
That means that Nene may have no need to play as much against the Warriors. He cannot stretch the floor and the Warriors like to play small quite a bit. In comes Ryan Anderson.
Ryno is a good small ball center who can shoot the 3 well. While his shot is normally hit or miss on a per game basis, he is actually still shooting his regular percentage (38.5%) from behind the arc in the playoffs.
Anderson could take some of Nene’s minutes and really have an impact on the series as the Warriors would be forced to guard the perimeter at all times.
D’Antoni said he’ll have an opportunity
Coach D’Antoni said in practice today that Ryno will get a chance to play some:
Mike D’Antoni on if it’s tough on Ryan Anderson not playing: “It doesn’t mean he’s not going to play. I think he’ll be fine. He’s going to play some, and we’ll see where it goes.”
“This time of year, it’s all about the Houston Rockets. It’s not about anybody.” pic.twitter.com/fzkc4JabIt
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) May 12, 2018
While this may also mean he will still hardly play, I bet Anderson sneaks his way back into the rotation.
Should he play well for the Rockets, it will drastically increase his trade value this summer. Anderson is one of the big contracts Houston will look to move, most likely.
For multiple reasons, more importantly the success of the Rockets, let’s hope Ryan Anderson puts it all together against the Warriors.