2. Best rim protector in the league?
When the Rockets traded away Clint Capela it seemed their shot-blocking was going to take a massive hit, as Capela had been one of the better shot-blockers in the league. In fact, Capela finished second in blocks during the 2017-18 season, which isn’t necessarily easy production to replace.
Capela had averaged roughly two blocks per game during each of the past three years so it was widely expected that the Rockets weren’t going to have a rim protector, and they definitely weren’t going to have a big man.
Covington has provided better rim protection than the Rockets were getting prior to acquiring him, as he’s been on a tear as it pertains to blocking shots. Covington has recorded at least three blocks in each of the last five games and has only failed to record a block in one of the Rockets’ eight games.
RoCo’s elite shot blocking caused the league office to give him a random drug test, because it seemed like his blocks came out of nowhere. Covington has averaged 2.6 blocks per game in Houston, which would be second-best in the league if Covington maintained this average over the course of the entire season.
What’s unique about Covington is that he has the ability to alter shots at the rim or on the perimeter, which makes him different than the league’s leading shot-blocker Hassan Whiteside. Covington has made an immediate impact on the Rockets’ defense, as the Rockets are only allowing 105 points per 100 possessions with Covington on the floor.
This has given Covington the best defensive rating on the team among players who have played in at least three games. In addition, RoCo has had a defensive field goal percentage of 44.4 percent as a member of the Rockets, which has instantly placed him with the top-five on the team.
It’s become blatantly obvious that Covington is not only the best rim protector in the league, but that he also deserves consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year award. If he continues this tear of shot-blocking it will be impossible for him to not be one of the finalists for the DPOY award.
Next: No. 1