Breaking down the strengths of the Houston Rockets’ improved bench unit

Houston Rockets Ben McLemore (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Ben McLemore (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Ben McLemore (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

With the additions of Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll and the resurgence of Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore, the Houston Rockets can now go 10-deep.

Earlier in the season, Mike D’Antoni was going with a shortened rotation that was causing guys like 34-year-old P.J. Tucker to play nearly 40 minutes on some nights. Given how long a season is, the Houston Rockets wisely went and got help at the trade deadline to help remedy this problem.

There was some jumbling in the lineup early on, with Danuel House and Eric Gordon swapping positions as starters and Ben McLemore taking over starting duties for 18 games when Gordon was hurt.

After some new additions and a big trade that landed Robert Covington, however, the team has gotten comfortable with a starting five of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, House, Covington and Tucker

Due to recent additions, Houston is no longer having to rely on Tucker playing such heavy minutes, even with Gordon’s multiple injuries so far this season. Furthermore, when Harden goes to the bench, D’Antoni can depend on the second unit to hold the lead more often than it used to.

Each bench player in the now deeper rotation brings different strengths to the court that can definitely add up to be a potential difference-maker as the season goes on.

Here’s a look at what each bench player that’s in the regular rotation brings to the table and why they’re making this team more dangerous than they’ve been in years.

Next: The Sharpshooters