#2 Best Houston Rocket: Christian Wood
The claim to be the best Rocket was incredibly close and it is shocking that Christian Wood didn’t secure the distinction. However, he has blown through all reasonable expectations in his first year in Houston.
He is averaging 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 32.3 minutes per game on 51.4-percent shooting from the field and 37.4-percent shooting from 3-point range. Wood is the total package and on talent, he is almost certainly the best Rocket, although John Wall would probably argue with that.
The main reason Wood didn’t claim the number one spot on the list is that he hasn’t been nearly as efficient as a scorer since he returned from his ankle injury. Over his first 17 games, he shot 55.8-percent from the field and 42.1-percent from 3-point range before missing the next 17 games.
Since Wood has returned to the court his shot has been off and he has only shot 48.3-percent from the field and 34.6-percent from 3-point range. While those are fine numbers in their own right, they’re nowhere near the level he was at the beginning of the season. Wood has been done no favors as his perimeter running mates have been a revolving door.
He started the season playing next to James Harden, John Wall, and Eric Gordon, only to see Harden be swapped out for Victor Oladipo. Just as the quartet of Wood, Gordon, Oladipo, and Wall was finding its groove he went down with his ankle injury. Then, as he was recuperating, Gordon was lost for the season.
When he came back he had to learn how to play with the newly-promoted Kevin Porter Jr, then Oladipo was traded and finally, Wall was lost for the season with a hamstring injury. Wood needs to be set up by his teammates to thrive on offense and the Rockets just never had any consistency in the backcourt and eventually, they ran out of quality.
Wood is an incredibly talented player but his second-half struggles show his limitations. At this stage, he’s not capable of carrying a team’s offense. He is a late bloomer and still only 25-years-old so that could still be in the cards down the line.
If it wasn’t for all of the roster upheaval and the ankle injury Wood would have easily claimed the first spot. However, much like the Rockets season, everything that could go wrong for Wood did.