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Three things to look for in the Houston Rockets season opener

P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Christian Wood #35 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

#1 Houston Rockets: Look for Christian Wood to be elite

Rockets fans will have to wait to see John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins suit up but they should be able to get a good look a Christian Wood right away. The 25-year-old is entering his fifth NBA season and looks poised to have a big season.

Wood signed for three years and $41 million after impressing with the Detroit Pistons over the final 15 games of the 2019-20 season. While his track record of success is not long, it is impressive.

Last season, Wood averaged 13.1 points in 21.4 minutes a game on 38.6-percent shooting from 3-point range and 56.7-percent from the field. His per-36 minutes’ averages of 22 points and 10.6 rebounds give him a great chance to be an All-Star in an expanded role for the Rockets.

There is a real chance that Wood could emerge as one of the best offensive centers in the league. His ability to score at every level makes him the perfect fit for modern NBA offenses that thrive on spacing.

Can Wood become an elite player in Houston? That remains to be seen but he is in the right system to maximize his talents. He is a perfect pick and roll partner because of how deadly he can be rim running or popping in pick and roll sets.

If Wood can get off to a hot start he could convince James Harden that the best team for him to compete for titles with is the Rockets. It’s not an overstatement to say that Wood is the most talented offensive center Harden has ever played with.

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Even if Wood can’t change Harden’s mind, he’ll make John Wall’s life easier as he comes back from an Achilles injury. Christian Wood is good, but he can be elite? Look for him to exert himself early and often against a porous Trail Blazers defense.

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