Austin Rivers – His Homecourt Magic
Austin Rivers doesn’t always move the needle, but his defensive efforts can go a long way at times when the Rockets are letting things get out of hand. On top of what he can bring effort-wise, Rivers will also have a different type of edge when the Rockets finish off their season in Orlando.
Growing up in Orlando, Rivers spent years shooting hoops at ESPN Wide World of Sports, formerly known as The Milkhouse.
As he recently spoke about during Rockets media day, Austin should feel right at home as the team heads to Orlando, as “nobody has played in those places” more than he has. “This is a true homecourt advantage for me,” said Rivers.
#KHOU11 Which #NBA player has scored more points on the courts at Walt Disney World .. than any other? #Rockets Guard Austin Rivers @AustinRivers25 believes it's him …. and he's excited! pic.twitter.com/3vt4ftmAxe
— Matt Musil (@KHOUSportsMatt) July 3, 2020
In an environment in which homecourt advantage is more symbolic than anything, the Rockets could use any type of advantage they can get this summer.
Ben McLemore – A Large Quiver for His Arrows
Before Jeff Green came along to start shooting a career-high mark from downtown, Ben McLemore was doing the same. Among all Rockets that have shown up in more than 10 games, McLemore’s 39.5 percent leads the team, followed by P.J. Tucker at 37 percent.
Ben has gotten into the habit of firing off an arrow after he hits a big three, so a large quiver for his bombs is only appropriate.
Ben has buried five or more 3-pointers in seven different games this season and must stay ready in case Eric Gordon or others in the rotation are having an off night. And speaking of Gordon:
Eric Gordon – A Signed, Notarized, Clean Bill of Health
We’ve been talking all season about the struggles of Eric Gordon, but the fact of the matter is he has simply not been healthy. Given the shooting ability of the 12-year veteran, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that much of his slump can be attributed to his injury issues.
Eric Gordon now appears to be past his lingering knee issues, even losing weight in preparation for the season’s resumption. Everyone knows how important Eric is to the Rockets. Mike D’Antoni even believes he will be the key to putting Houston over the top when it comes to winning an NBA title, so the minutes will certainly be there.
If Gordon is 100 percent in Orlando, the chance for redemption will rely on his jump shot, which is something I don’t believe he’s lost yet.
Next: House, Covington, and Tucker