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Houston Rockets Season Review: Kenyon Martin Jr

Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets
Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Kenyon Martin Jr., Pascal Siakam
Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Good and Bad of Kenyon Martin Jr 

Kenyon Martin Jr is a relatively simple player. On offense, he shoots open threes and cuts to the rim, and on defense, he tries. For a rotation player, Martin’s profile is very valuable, but his deficiencies make it difficult for him to contribute more than 20 minutes a night. Let’s first break down where Martin excels.

dark. Hot. Kenyon Martin Sr. Wants ‘A Better Situation’ Than Rockets for KJ Martin

The Good

Kenyon Martin Jr is an excellent cutter. His speed and leaping ability allow him to make a sleeping or over-rotated defense pay the ultimate price. For a player listed at 6’6, it’s borderline insane that nearly 45% of their shots came at the rim with a quarter of his shots being dunks. Being an elite cutter and finisher is a valuable skill and should keep Martin in the NBA for the next decade.   

For two seasons in a row, Martin hit 3-pointers at around a league-average rate. His ability to make defenses pay for sagging off of him has been a boon for his production. However, he still doesn’t command much 3-point shooting gravity. 

The simplicity of Martin’s offensive profile has juiced his efficiency. He almost exclusively takes high-value shots, which is exactly what you want from a role player. 

The Bad 

Outside of dunks, cuts, and threes, Martin doesn’t really provide much. He can’t dribble, his rebounding doesn’t stand out, he doesn’t play make, and his defense, outside of some highlight blocks, remains a negative. 

On defense, what plagues Martin is a lack of size. At 6’6, he’s an undersized power forward, and he hasn’t developed the ability to credibly cover wings and guards. For as twitchy as he is vertically, he struggles to stay in front of adept ball handlers. The best bet for him to carve out a larger role is to become a multi-positional defender that can check forwards and wings. 

Offensively, Martin has next to no ability to self create. 73.5% of his 2-point field goals and 100% of his 3-point field goals were assisted. There are plenty of players with this profile, but they are usually either knockdown spot-up shooters or rim running centers. Martin does a little bit of both, but those players are on the court for their defense or their shooting gravity, two traits Martin does not currently possess.

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