How the Houston Rockets would benefit
The Houston Rockets went all-in on a 6-8 and under lineup and, let’s face it, crashed and burned. With their system being built to benefit the two-headed snake of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, that strategy isn’t likely to change that much next season, but it’s clear it needs some tweaking.
The Rockets were innovative in deciding to go micro ball and win with a high-octane offense and shooting threes. Still, even with their most extreme version of the strategy, they were promptly eliminated in five games. No matter how well they stroke it from the outside, it’s hard to overcome a 52-26 rebounding deficit, as they were victims of in Game 4 against the Lakers.
Former Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale offered his advice on NBA TV recently, which spoke to the need for someone like Christian Wood on the team. “They need two or three guys who are 6’8, 6’9, 6’10,” said McHale. “Long, athletic guys that can dribble hand-offs. When you roll to the rim with those guys, there’s always the threat of a lob, and they can finish at the basket.”
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McHale had mixed results as the Rockets’ coach, but I agree with him here. Houston doesn’t necessarily need to go with seven-footers and traditional centers, but they do need more size to avoid having to overwork themselves on the glass.
In 21.4 minutes per game, Wood averaged 6.3 rebounds per game with Detroit last season, equating to 10.6 per 36 minutes.
His 1.7 offensive rebounds per game was also a career high for him and would’ve been second to only Westbrook (1.8) on this season’s squad.
The Rockets would also get some youthful energy on their squad while getting rid of one of their 31-year-olds in Eric Gordon.
It’s also probably not the worst thing that they’d be parting with Danuel House after his controversial activity led to him missing most of the series against Los Angeles.
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Houston has limited options when it comes to making moves before next season, and a play for Wood should be one they explore.