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Alperen Sengun is the Houston Rockets’ Gordian Knot 

N.B. Lindberg
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San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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Unlocking Sengun could be a game-changer for the Rockets

The future of the Houston Rockets rests on the shoulders of Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. The franchise will rise as high as they do, but Sengun offers the franchise an opportunity to get to another level. If Green and Smith are the foundation, Sengun is the ceiling. Rockets head coach Stephen Silas knows he needs to get the most out of Sengun and appears to be well aware of where his talents lie. 

His quote does raise questions about his willingness to channel his inner Alexander and take a sword to the problem. Silas wants his centers to screen-and-roll and pick-and-pop to get the best out of the Rockets’ talented backcourt partnership of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. However, those actions limit Sengun’s impact. 

The key for Silas, Sengun, and the Rockets will be striking a balance between the conventional and unconventional. Sengun is such a unique player that he could give the Rockets' offense game-breaking unpredictability. But Silas also needs the offense to get the most out of Green and Porter.

Silas’ Knot remains bound because he continues to stick with convention. Alperen Sengun not being a traditional center is only a problem if you let it be. Positions and all the labels that come along with them are irrelevant. Basketball players have strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the coach to get the most out of the roster. Sengun is an incredible offensive talent, and he shouldn’t have to fit his talent to a role, his role should fit to his talent. 

If the Rockets overachieve this season, Sengun will have to become a key element of the offense. No player on the roster comes close to matching his passing vision or post scoring. 

When Alexander slashed the Gordian Knot he still had the vast majority of the Persian Empire to conquer. It didn’t actually make him ruler of all of Asia. It was a statement of intent and demonstration of will. Unlocking Alperen Segnun won’t make the Rockets NBA champions, but it will say an awful lot about their future. Winning at the highest level is about problem-solving. If the Rockets can solve their Sengun Knot, then there isn’t a problem they can’t overcome. 

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