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Houston Rockets: Kenneth Faried with a strong debut despite loss

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Kenneth Faried #35 of the Houston Rockets goes to the basket for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 21, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Kenneth Faried #35 of the Houston Rockets goes to the basket for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 21, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The newest addition to the Houston Rockets had a solid debut for the team last night during the blowout loss to the Sixers. What can he do for Houston going forward?

The Houston Rockets finally officially signed energetic big man Kenneth Faried last night before their game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He was signed as a replacement for the currently-injured Clint Capela, as the team needs all the help they can get on the glass.

Faried is a guy that will always hustle no matter what. He may not be the best rebounder or defender, but he gives you the kind of effort you like to see out there on the court. Last night in his debut, he finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds in 23 minutes. He shot 5/7 overall and was one of the few Rockets actually contributing last night.

He was tasked with an extremely tough matchup in his first game on the team in Joel Embiid. He didn’t defend Embiid particularly well, but who really can? He was still giving effort and was able to do some work on the offensive end of the court.

His first points in Rockets red was a thunderous dunk that ended up giving him a technical foul for hitting the backboard afterward. Lame.

Faried was too hyped about his first bucket with the Rockets. Immediate tech ? pic.twitter.com/lueco2B1XH

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 22, 2019

Going forward

You have to wonder if the Rockets will consider starting Kenneth Faried in the next game on Wednesday. He brought what the team needed last night and has the ability to contribute to winning basketball.

Nene started the game last night but hardly played. He only saw eight minutes of action as the Rockets elected to either play Faried at center or play small ball with P.J. Tucker/Gary Clark at center. Nene brings quite a bit for a backup center, but Faried’s athleticism is hard to ignore out there.

I expect Faried to eventually start if he doesn’t immediately. He is here to take the minutes from Capela while he’s hurt and can do so effectively, despite being undersized (6’8). Faried may not bring the same defensive presence as Capela, but he will be a solid replacement and future backup for the Rockets.

That’s what excites me the most. When Clint is back and healthy, the Rockets have the ability, if they choose to do so, to ditch small ball a bit and run Faried at the backup center spot. Against bigger teams or slower teams, this could be a brutal strategy that results in quite a few assists for James Harden and Chris Paul.

Next. Kenneth Faried is a good, cheap signing

Faried’s energy is awesome to watch and I can’t wait to see him in future games, especially when the Rockets are more healthy.

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