Houston Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr’s the good, the bad, and the ugly start to the season

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Denver Nuggets
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Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets
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Kevin Porter Jr, the Ugly: The turnovers

This season, the single biggest flaw in Porter’s game has been his inability to avoid turnovers. Turnovers are back-breaking. A poor shot sometimes goes in and allows for an offensive rebound. A turnover, by definition, is secured by the opposition and usually leads to an excellent scoring opportunity. 

The Rockets are currently giving up 24.6 points a game directly from turnovers. That mark leads the league by 4.6 points per game. The gap between the Rockets in 30th and the Memphis Grizzlies in 29th is the same size as the gap between the Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs in 4th. The Rockets' lead is so large it almost defies belief. 

The Rockets are losing games because they keep losing the ball, and Porter is the primary culprit. When he’s on the court, the Rockets turn the ball over 21.2-percent of the time. Compared to 14.8-percent when he’s on the bench. 

Porter coughing the ball up constantly wouldn’t be a huge issue if he paired it with excellent playmaking. Unfortunately, he is currently pairing the league’s second-highest turnover rate with its 38th best assist rate. For his current turnover rate of 25.3-percent to be acceptable, he would need to boost his assist rate into the 30-percent range and become a far more efficient scorer. 

If Porter can’t reign in the turnovers he has no shot to be a lead ball-handler in the NBA. Teams cannot survive when a player is constantly giving away possessions. The free throws have been good, the 3-point shooting has been bad, but the turnovers have been downright ugly. The good news, for Porter and Rockets fans, is that he has 71 games to turn it around. 


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