Houston Rockets reason to be optimistic #3: Before the Christian Wood injury, the Rockets were rolling.
When the Rockets signed Christian Wood before the season started, many people believe it was a great signing. The 6 ft 10-inch center/power forward finished last year with the Detroit Pistons on a very high note. Even with the high expectations, Wood has not only met but exceeded them through his first 17 games.
From January 23 to February 4th, the Houston Rockets were 6-1 with the best +/- and the best defensive rating in the league during that stretch. They were top 10 in effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage and were finally hitting their stride after the James Harden trade. The Rockets showed that they could play at a high level with Christian Wood leading the way.
Fast forward, nine losses later, and Wood’s impact is even more pronounced. Does Wood coming back fix all the Rocket’s issues? Probably not, but it does fill a huge hole in the Rocket’s offense and defense. Wood, before he injured his ankle, was averaging 22.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game to go along with his defense improving every game.
With Wood back in the lineup, it opens up the game for every other Rocket on the court. It makes the game easier for Stephen Silas as he can have a constant offensive threat on the court when drawing up plays. Wood’s impact on the Rockets can not be emphasized enough and in his short time with the Rockets, he has shown that he is the most important player.
There is hope that Wood could be back before the All-Star break, which means at the latest Wood could be back for their March 3rd game against the Brooklyn Nets. This leads to another possible return for an exciting player in the NBA G League.
Next: Reason #2