Houston Rockets Season Review: Kenyon Martin Jr

N.B. Lindberg
Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets
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Kenyon Martin Jr.
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Where Kenyon Martin Jr Needs to Improve 

The two key areas that Kenyon Martin Jr needs to improve are defense and ball handling. His energy and athleticism give him a good defensive foundation, but he needs to improve dramatically as an on-ball defender. He is simply not long enough to be a lock-down frontcourt or weak-side help defender. 

The ability to guard wings will be crucial for his career. There aren’t a lot of undersized power forwards that have to be spoonfed their offense in the NBA for a reason. On a bad team like the Rockets, it doesn’t matter if Martin has defensive deficiencies, but there’s next to chance that he’d come close to cracking a playoff rotation. If you’re not a superstar or a floor spacer, you have to defend at a high level, and Martin has a ways to go. 

If Martin were to improve his ball-handling, he could become an interesting offensive option. He has elite vertical burst, but he can only get to it sparingly due to his inability to create looks on his own. Adding one or two go-to moves would completely change his game.

As of right now, he is completely dependent on others for offense. If that continues, he’s a replaceable player. Martin’s age and tools suggest he isn’t a lost cause, but if he doesn’t start to show some improvement in this area it could be an aspect of his game that simply never materializes.