Houston Rockets: Iman Shumpert has to improve his offense going forward
The Houston Rockets added Iman Shumpert last month, but he hasn’t shot the ball well since joining team. His offense has to improve in order to justify his playing time.
When the Houston Rockets brought in Iman Shumpert back in February, I was really excited about the skill set he brought to the team. He had really improved his outside shot earlier in the year while playing for the Sacramento Kings, so he’d fit perfectly in a 3-and-D role for Houston.
He looked like the perfect player to take the role that Luc Mbah a Moute played last year. Shumpert could come in off the bench, defend multiple positions at a high level and knock down open 3-pointers. Unfortunately, Shumpert’s offense has resembled Mbah a Moute’s offense in last year’s playoffs after he returned from his shoulder injury.
In Houston, Iman Shumpert has averaged just 3.6 points per game on a measly 28.3 percent shooting from the floor and 28.6 percent shooting from the 3-point line. Shump has failed to score in double figures or shoot at least 50 percent in any of his 10 games as a Rocket so far.
Shumpert’s numbers on offense have been troubling, because he was attempting a career high 4.8 3-pointers per game earlier this year in Sacramento, nailing 36.6 percent of those shots.
As expected, Shumpert’s defense has been solid. The Rockets are allowing just 104.0 points per 100 possessions when Shumpert is on the floor, which is higher than the Milwaukee Bucks’ league-leading defensive rating.
However, Shumpert has become almost a liability on offense. Houston is scoring just 93.0 points per 100 possessions when Shumpert is on the floor, which is the worst rating of any Rockets player that has played at least 10 games this season, including Michael Carter-Williams and Marquese Chriss.
Despite Shump’s stellar defense, his offensive woes are holding back the team. The Rockets are being outscored by 11.0 points per 100 possessions when Shumpert is on the floor, which ranks behind Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Knight, two players the Rockets quickly got rid of.
In the regular season, Mike D’Antoni usually only runs a nine man rotation. In the playoffs, he’ll probably cut the rotation to just eight guys. Since the Rockets re-signed Danuel House Jr, one of the players that has been getting consistent minutes over the last few weeks should fall outside of the rotation, and it could be Shumpert.
If Shumpert can get his 3-point percentage back up to around 36 percent, he should have a role in Houston’s offense. His defense and versatility could be very valuable to the Rockets in the playoffs. Not to mention, Shump appeared in three consecutive NBA Finals for the Cleveland Cavaliers, so he has tons of playoff experience and he won’t shy away when the lights shine brightest.
But if Iman Shumpert’s offense doesn’t improve going forward, Mike D’Antoni won’t be able to justify giving him much, if any, playing time. Shumpert needs to get back on track quickly, because his window to prove himself in Houston could soon close.