The Houston Rockets will start their playoff journey tomorrow night as they face the Jazz in the first round. This season, though, the team should be much deeper.
Last year during the deep run in the playoffs, the Houston Rockets essentially played a seven-man rotation. It caused some heavy minutes on the starters and certainly contributed to their exhaustion level in that Warriors series.
This year, things are a bit different. The team is completely healthy and will be deeper going into the playoffs. The Rockets should start the postseason with a minimum of a 9-man rotation, which is a breath of fresh air.
Obviously, things change and Coach D’Antoni might start cutting it down once again. But let’s look at the viable options the Rockets have for the rotation going into the playoffs tomorrow night.
The Rockets have one of the better four-guard rotations in the league. The only question mark here, of course, is Austin Rivers. He is a great defender, but will be most valuable if he’s knocking down his shots and driving to the rim efficiently. That fourth guard was really missed during last year’s run.
Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, Gerald Green, Iman Shumpert
Eric Gordon also fits into the this category as well as he starts the games at small forward. The Rockets are much deeper in these positions this season. Gerald Green and Iman Shumpert likely won’t both make the rotation for a given game, so whoever is playing better at the time will likely get the minutes.
Clint Capela, Kenneth Faried/Nene
After filling in perfectly during the injury to Capela, Faried has seen his minutes go down a bit to end the season. In certain situations, he is a perfect fit for the offense of Houston. His defense is not great, however. I could see the Rockets going with Nene to help with the likes of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors.
Despite the slow start to the year this season, the midseason acquisitions have made their presence felt and make this team pretty darn deep. If everything is clicking, the Rockets are a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the court. The ability to have a larger rotation this year is a luxury that was greatly missed at the end of last year. Let’s hope everyone stays healthy and ready to play.