Houston Rockets: Thing to look for in Kevin Porter’s debut #3: Limiting the turnovers
The last time Kevin Porter jr. played in the NBA he flashed big-time scoring potential but his playmaking lagged behind. He averaged 15.4 points per 36 minutes as a 19-year-old rookie but only 3.4 assists and, more concerning, 2.9 turnovers.
It’s not unusual for rookies to struggle with turnovers but if they’re not also setting teammates up it puts a ton of pressure on their scoring to not sink their team’s offense. In the G-League, Porter’s playmaking was leaned into more, he averaged 7.3 assists a game, but he also paired it with 4.7 turnovers.
The best way for young players to fall out of the rotation, especially on a team with so much depth at the guard position, is to turn the ball over. Porter needs to limit his turnovers if he wants to get the minutes he’ll need to reach his potential.
Early on, Porter won’t be expected to be a lead ball handler. The Rockets will likely use him as the fourth guard and will pair with one of Victor Oladipo, John Wall, or Eric Gordon. In these lineups, Porter will be able to share ball-handling and playmaking duties without being expected to orchestrate the offense.
If Porter can limit his turnovers he’ll earn more minutes and trust from the coaching staff. However, if he constantly coughs the ball up then the Rockets will have to limit his role on offense, which could stunt his growth as a player.
Next: Thing to look for #2