Houston Rocket who needs to step up #2: Ben McLemore
One of last season’s great surprises was Ben McLemore’s breakout as a 3-point sniper. Over the course of 71 regular-season games, McLemore shot 40-percent from 3-point range and had, by far, the best season of his career.
Whatever was fueling McLemore’s 3-point shooting has completely evaporated. For the season, he is shooting 33.7-percent from 3-point range and making it increasingly difficult for himself to find minutes on the court.
McLemore remains an excellent shooter from the corners, hitting 47.6-percent of his corner threes, but his defense and shot creation remain a problem. Losing James Harden and all the space he creates for shooters has clearly hurt McLemore but he is a better shooter than he has shown this season.
McLemore is a one-trick-pony, if he isn’t shooting close to 40-percent from distance there really isn’t a place for him in the NBA. To make matters worse, McLemore is in the final year of his contract which means he is tanking his trade value and killing his chances in free agency.
The Rockets need McLemore to step it up by doing the one thing that he can do at an elite NBA level. If he can’t, he’ll cost the Rockets a few assets and himself millions in free agency.
Next: Rocket #1