Grading the Houston Rockets this season: Robert Covington

Houston Rockets Robert Covington (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Robert Covington (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

With his floor spacing and 3-and-D abilities, Robert Covington has proven to be a perfect fit with the Houston Rockets so far this season.

Stats with Rockets this season – 12.8 PTS, 7.9 REB, 2.5 BLK per game

When the Houston Rockets traded for Robert Covington at the deadline, it caused a drastic change in the team’s playing style. Trading their starting center, Clint Capela, while acquiring Covington officially made it the era of micro ball in Clutch City.

Covington’s ability to hit the 3-ball and guard the opposing team’s best wing player made him a draw for many contending teams. With the deal, Houston sacrificed rebounding and interior defending for more floor spacing on the offensive end.

The addition of Robert Covington has also opened the game up for All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. The same, however, can’t be said of superstar James Harden, who was heavily dependent on Capela screen and rolls from the top of the key, which usually opened up for an alley-oop or a P.J Tucker corner three.

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Getting used to the system is going to be a process for the entire team, but I see things eventually working out. Now that Capela is out and Covington is in, they should have no problems against teams that have offensive styles reliant on floor spacing like what we have seen in Golden State for the past couple of years.

Capela at times was not even playable against certain teams. That won’t be a problem with Covington. In his first game with Houston against a team full of size in the Los Angeles Lakers, Covington showed what he can bring to the table.

The 29-year-old had a fairly good debut, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. He also hit this dagger that helped secure Houston’s victory — the link to re-watch the game can be found here.

Although RoCo is the tallest player in the Rockets starting lineup, he is not considered a weakness when it pertains to interior defense, being that he can hold his own down low.

Covington’s ability to shoot threes off of screens, spot-ups or pull-ups makes him a threat from everywhere behind the arc, which is a great weapon to have if you are Harden and Westbrook.

Grade: B+

The ability to shoot, defend the perimeter, defend the interior and show hustle makes Covington a player that everyone should want on their team. Even though he’s not really a loud talker like Patrick Beverley, he comes off as the player you would love on your team and someone you would hate to play against due to him doing everything that fits the team’s needs perfectly.

During the last couple of games before the league’s shutdown, Covington was having decent games, scoring 20 against the New York Knicks and 25 against the Charlotte Hornets.

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He only had the chance to play 14 games this season for the Rockets, so the sample size of this analysis is extremely limited. But from what I’ve seen and what the future of the team is looking like, I would say he’s a pretty good fit.