4. Who is the other micro ball center of the Houston Rockets?
P.J. Tucker is currently the Rockets’ preferred micro ball center, but at 34 years old and 6’5, expecting Tucker to play 35 minutes at center every night is probably too tall of a task. Thabo Sefolosha would have been a good candidate for this position, but he has opted out of the restart.
Jeff Green, a Rocket for a total of 10 games, would seem to be the likely heir apparent. He offers less defensively but is taller and a better scorer. Robert Covington has thrived as a stretch forward and, at 6’7, is one of Houston’s tallest players.
On a recent episode of The Lowe Post, Zach Lowe posited the same question:
“Who’s playing center when P.J. Tucker rests?” said Lowe. “And he doesn’t rest much, that guy plays a lot. Jeff Green was the answer for the most part before the shutdown. Sefolosha, who just opted out, was the answer for some there. I wonder if they might even get smaller and try Covington at the five with just a bunch of shooting around him.”
Mike D’Antoni needs to know who he can play in place of Tucker while maintaining the spacing that has allowed Russell Westbrook to thrive. An injury to Tucker could derail all of the Rockets’ plans if no credible backup can be established.
5. Will the real Eric Gordon please stand up?
Mike D’Antoni needs to know if Eric Gordon is back in any capacity. Gordon has had a season from hell. He has battled injury and horrendous shooting all season long. His 3-point shooting has dropped from 36 percent to 31.9 percent this season, making the Rockets better on offense when he sits.
If Gordon is healthy and can regain his form from previous seasons, he could be the X-factor for the Rockets. Surrounding Westbrook and Harden with that much long-range artillery would spell doom for NBA defenses but if Gordon is still chucking up bricks, D’Antoni cannot afford to play him substantial minutes.
Next: Questions 6 & 7