Houston Rockets Season Review: Jae’Sean Tate

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Brooklyn Nets
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Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets, Jae'Sean Tate
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Where Jae’Sean Tate Needs to Improve

Jae’Sean Tate is a relatively well-rounded basketball player. He can defend like crazy, dribble, finish at the rim, and has a little playmaking streak in him as well. All he can’t do is shoot, and until he can, it will forever limit him. 

There are plenty of highly successful and well-compensated players that the only thing they can do is shoot. If you could combine Tate with Davis Bertans into Jae’Davis BerTate, that’s likely a top-15 player in the league. 

Asking Tate to become a knockdown shooter is unreasonable. He was a poor free throw shooter in college, and he’s a poor free throw shooter in the NBA. However, developing a consistent stroke from the corner, à la PJ Tucker, would dramatically improve his career outlook. 

Related. Jae’Sean Tate needs to emulate Draymond Green. dark

Tate just needs to make defenses pay when they leave him wide open on the perimeter. Shooting 35% on corner threes would still be below the league average, but it would dramatically improve his offensive contributions. He’d score more points, space the floor better, and have more driving opportunities, where he’s actually good, after hard closeouts. If Tate is going to have a breakout, it’ll likely start in the corner. 

While Tate’s defense is excellent, it does come at a cost. He led the league in fouls per game and total fouls. A large reason for his propensity to foul came down to the fact that he was guarding top-tier players and often had a tremendous size disadvantage. Fouls lead to points and knock you out of the game. Tate shouldn’t stop fouling at the cost of defense, but being able to maintain his defensive impact with one fewer foul per game could get him in the All-Defensive team conversation.