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Why the Houston Rockets can’t afford Danuel House’s shooting woes

Houston Rockets Danuel House (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Danuel House (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets’ sharpshooter Danuel House has been struggling mightily of late, which poses the question of whether he is fully healthy.

Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Houston Rockets were expecting big things from sharpshooter Danuel House, and rightfully so.

House shot 41.6 percent from downtown last season, which was a team high and was part of the reason the Rockets gave him a long-term extension, which was originally reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. At the start of the 2019-20 season, House got off to a hot start, as he was averaging 12.6 points per game on 44.9 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from downtown over the first 15 games.

On top of that, House continued his stellar defensive play as he allowed 111 points per 100 possessions and had the second-most blocks behind only Clint Capela. Over the course of the last six games, however, there has been a much different House. During that span the 26 year old has been averaging a mere six points on 34 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from 3-point range.

House’s play of late has been worrisome to say the least and it’s quite possible he’s not fully healthy, as he’s battled injury and illness all season, which has forced him to miss six of the Rockets’ 27 games thus far. Regardless of the reason for House’s regression, he’s been getting outplayed by Ben McLemore over the last six games. McLemore has been averaging 15.5 points per game on 52.7 percent from the field and 45 percent from downtown over the course of the Rockets’ last six games.

The really intriguing thing about how McLemore compares to House is the fact that they are each allowing 116 points per 100 possessions over the last six games, which is scary for House’s sake. This is probably the biggest indicator that House simply isn’t fully healthy because McLemore is not known for his defense and he’s certainly not on House’s level on that end of the floor.

Regardless of whether the Rockets decide to start McLemore over House, the reality is they will need House to snap out of his recent funk. Despite his recent drop off in production, House is still shooting 39.3 percent from downtown, which the Rockets will need. They also will need his defense and shot blocking as well considering how the Rockets defense has fared in the 2019-20 season. On top of that, the Houston Rockets are a fairly smaller team from a size standpoint, which is why House’s 6-foot-7 frame is so pivotal.

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The Rockets will need House and McLemore both, and not one in place of the other. If he’s not fully healthy it would be wise to let him rest until he is, similar to what the Rockets did with Eric Gordon. Granted, Gordon ultimately needed knee surgery but if there is something that’s ailing House, it would be wise to get it taken care of now. The fact that McLemore has been playing so well of late gives the Rockets more time to let House get healthy.

Hopefully House is just in a slump and there’s nothing more to it than simply missing shots, but if there is anything causing his play to regress to the extent which it has over the last six games then the Rockets should let him rest. Hopefully House can get it figured out immediately!

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