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Houston Rockets: 3 ways for Kevin Porter Jr. to reach stardom

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 10: Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets walks out on court during player introductions prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center on April 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 10: Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets walks out on court during player introductions prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center on April 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Kevin Porter Jr. #3 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets’ Kevin Porter path to stardom #1: Eliminating bad habits on drives

Kevin Porter has the ability to get by his defender and into the teeth of the defense, but he is still very raw at turning these situations into positive outcomes. The best offensive players in the league are proficient at getting to and finishing at the rim.

Porter routinely tries to barrel his way to the rim and it is here where he needs to make progress in two very important areas. The first is that he needs to learn to slow down his attack once he gets by his first defender.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/03/29/0022000712/200/93c30555-f61b-eb81-cbb7-1df2bad26b8a_1280x720.mp4

Notice how he gets the positioning he wants on a much smaller defender, but instead of slowing down and sealing the defender, he speeds towards the rim and the help side defense only to be blocked at the rim. A more experienced player would have used that initial space to seal the perimeter defender and engage the help side defense before reacting to it, instead of sprinting full steam ahead.

Improvement in this will take time and reps but Porter should have no problem learning how to slow down, especially as he adds bulk to his frame which will only improve his ability to seal off the first line of defense before calmly finishing inside. The second area where he needs to improve is he has a horrible habit of pump-faking after contact on drives to the basket.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/04/27/0022000931/657/bfc2ca0b-755a-1e69-db1e-9d83c622bbd7_1280x720.mp4

Here Porter does a good job to get position on his defender and draw contact only to pump fake at the last second and all but seal his fate of getting blocked. Porter consistently does unnecessary mini-ball-fakes when attacking the rim that do nothing to alter the defense and in reality give the defender an extra half-second to alter his shot.

Once again, as Porter adds some more bulk he likely won’t be so bothered by contact but he needs to learn that by trying to not get blocked he’s actually running into blocked shots. Here is a good example of how he needs to try and finish consistently.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/03/31/0022000724/259/745a1024-e2c8-8c98-7428-a044fe81f083_1280x720.mp4

Porter attacks and goes to the rim strong to get himself an and-one. The only thing a pump fake would have done is give Harden another chance to prevent the ball from going in. Once contact has been drawn there’s no need to get cute, just try and get the bucket and collect your free throws.

Houston Rockets: Kevin Porter is on the right track

Kevin Porter Jr. has played all of 75 NBA games with 25 career starts mixed in. After one season worth of games, his career per-36 minute numbers of 16.7 points and 4.9 assists would land him the Rookie of the year award in most seasons.

Next. Ranking the Houston Rockets 5 greatest draft picks

The talent is there for him to become an All-Star caliber player and possibly more. If he works hard on one or two of these skills in the offseason Rockets fans should expect him to average 20 points a game with better than average efficiency. In other words, he should be a star.

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