Houston Rockets need #3: Primary Ball Handler
In short, the Houston Rockets have struggled on the offensive end this season, posting the fourth-lowest offensive rating in the league.
While there are many factors at play as to why this rating is so low, one could argue that the most apparent reason is the lack of a primary ball handler to serve as the engine that makes the whole machine hum.
On paper, a player like John Wall may seem to fit this role. However, Wall is a score-first guard who is very ball dominant. In order to prove this point, look no further than the frustration from Christian Wood after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in March.
Christian Wood asked about the most frustrating part of the game: “We’re not playing together..Just the ball movement. I think we had 16 assists as a team. We should definitely have more than that..I would like to be more involved in the offense going down the stretch.” pic.twitter.com/42UHuCrBhJ
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) March 21, 2021
And Wood’s frustration is not misguided either. As a Most Improved Player of the Year candidate, Wood should be an integral part of the Rockets’ offense down the stretch, particularly as a pick-and-roll threat.
However, there have been far too many times throughout the season where the Rockets’ lack of a true lead ball handler has prevented Wood from being utilized to his fullest extent.
If the Rockets want to take the next step in their rebuild, they should eye promising ball handlers like Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs if they maintain their pick in the high lottery.
Next: No. 2