Rockets: Will Ben McLemore step up in Russell Westbrook’s absence?

Houston Rockets Ben McLemore (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Ben McLemore (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Mike D’Antoni (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Mike D’Antoni reveals Rockets’ plan for replacing Russ

During Sunday’s media availability session, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni explained how the Rockets are planning to cope without Westbrook.

“You can’t replace a Russell Westbrook, but having said that, we do have alot of other weapons, and we’ll make the little adjustments against Oklahoma City that we think are pertinent. But everybody will be comfortable in their roles and we’ll see who plays best.”

The likely trio for replacing Westbrook will be Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers, and Ben McLemore, who each expect to receive an increase in minutes to collectively fill in for Westbrook for several games. But the player who is worth keying in on is Ben McLemore.

McLemore’s stellar play with Rockets

When the Houston Rockets invited Ben McLemore to their training camp at the start of the season, it seemed like Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was simply kicking the tires on a former lottery pick. McLemore had bounced around the league and there was very little interest in the former Kansas standout.

McLemore made the most of his opportunity, as he flashed his shooting stroke, which certainly stood out to the Houston Rockets, who consistently attempt more threes than any other team in the league. McLemore had true shooting splits of 62.2 percent, which was by far a career-high, and made 40 percent of his treys, which led the team.

McLemore also made 181 triples, which was also a career-best and ranked 13th-best in the league. Those numbers are meaningless heading into the postseason, which hold much higher stakes, and McLemore is making his postseason debut.

Next: Why McLemore is the key vs. OKC