The biggest joke in the NBA this season is that the Houston Rockets can’t win by utilizing their current small-ball strategy. The Rockets have gone 8-2 this season with this strategy after they fully committed to employing it.
There have been benefits of this strategy, especially on the defensive end, which isn’t surprising considering the wingspan of the Rockets’ forwards, who are considered bigs in D’Antoni’s system. At 6-foot-10, the 30-year-old Morris has the size to play center, which is an absolute mismatch for opposing centers due to his quickness and shooting ability.
On top of that, Morris’s presence could possibly pull a center out of the paint and back to the 3-point line, because Morris can essentially shoot over most small forwards due to his size. This would disrupt the defensive strategy that the Houston Rockets have seen from opponents, which has been to put centers on Russell Westbrook. Westbrook often reels in a second defender on his drives to the paint, which would leave Morris wide open for Russ to kick it out to him.
Morris’s size would also come in handy as it pertains to grabbing rebounds, which the Rockets could use considering how they’ve been out-rebounded in each of their last ten games. In fact, you’d have to go back to the January 27th matchup against the Utah Jazz to find the last time the Rockets out-rebounded an opponent.
During that span, the Rockets have been on the wrong side of a 490-385 rebounding differential, which means they have been grabbing roughly 10.5 rebounds less than their opponent per game. Morris has a career rebounding average of 5.4 rebounds per game, and has averaged 6.2 rebounds per 36 minutes this season.
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