Houston Rockets: 3 goals for Chris Clemons this season
3. Play 25 minutes per game
Clemons should get his fair share of minutes this season, considering how thin the Rockets second unit will be, outside of Danuel House and Tyson Chandler. It’s well known that coach Mike D’Antoni only plays “his guys” and essentially always opts to go with a thin group of players to give minutes to. That’s why it will be important for Clemons to draw favor from D’Antoni, as he obviously determines how many minutes Clemons plays.
But Gerald Green has averaged 21.45 minutes per game over the course of the last two seasons, and it would seem like Clemons should be able to play more than that considering his full arsenal of offensive abilities. Last season, reserves Danuel House and Austin Rivers played 25.1 minutes and 28.6 minutes respectively in their first season with the Rockets. That should give Clemons hope that he’ll be able to get his fair share of minutes too.
If the Rockets do indeed want to limit the minutes of Westbrook and Harden during the regular season, Clemons will likely need to play 25 minutes or more, as his ability to play either guard position will be very beneficial to what the Rockets want to do. This is important because Clemons could play the shooting guard position, which means he could play in a lineup with either Russell Westbrook or James Harden facilitating the offense, which could guarantee him minutes.
If the preseason is any indicator, however, it seems unlikely this will happen as Clemons only played 14.6 minutes per game. Granted, this can’t be used as a gauge as Gerald Green’s 25 minutes likely ate into his minutes, not to mention the fact that D’Antoni was much more lenient on his minutes allocation than he would normally be.
Next: No. 2