Strengths: Versatility, shooting, and playmaking
Jeff Green had been sitting out for several weeks before joining the Houston Rockets, making him available to any team in the NBA since he cleared waivers weeks ago. Most people didn’t think Green had much left in the tank and dismissed the Rockets snatching him up after the trade deadline.
Well, all Green has done since joining the Houston Rockets is shoot 5-for-7 from downtown and show that he can play above the rim as well. He is the perfect small-ball backup center who has also shown he can handle the ball at the top of the key and make plays for himself or others.
Green is only 6-8 but has a wingspan of over seven feet that helps him defend bigger players. Of course, he won’t continue to shoot this well, but having another big man who can handle the ball and shoot from downtown makes a huge difference.
Strengths: Versatility, tough defense, hustle
Another late addition to the roster, DeMarre Carroll has not been a huge part of the rotation as of yet. With Gordon’s frequent injury issues, however, the 33-year-old may be looking at more minutes as the season goes on.
Carroll is similar to Tucker in that he won’t blow you away with great statistics but plays hard, can guard multiple positions and knocks down 3-pointers. He is also another wing who fits well in the Rockets’ switching defense as he has the size and mobility to keep up with just about every position.
Carroll has also been hustling for loose balls and rebounds in his 28 total minutes played for Houston so far, pulling down seven boards, including two offensive.
The Rockets bench last year consisted of Marquese Chriss, James Ennis, Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and several other names you probably wouldn’t even remember. In comparison, while this season’s bench had a slow start to the year, the recent additions have given the team a well-rounded roster they haven’t always had.
What was once a weakness for the Houston Rockets may end up being what helps them stand out in the brutal Western Conference.