Houston Rockets starting Power Forward
Who will start: Christian Wood
Christian Wood should be the Rockets starting center, but he looks poised to be the Rockets starting power forward. His offensive game is versatile enough that he won’t look lost at power forward and he’ll be capable of guard slower fours.
In the pre-season, Wood looked confused over his new position. At times he appeared to be playing like a jumbo-wing and at other times he played like a traditional center. It might take some time for Wood to find offensive consistency as a power forward. He isn’t incapable of adapting his game, but there could be some rough stretches in the early going.
Defensively, Wood could run into some trouble as a power forward. As the game has become more perimeter-oriented, the power forward position has changed tremendously. 3-point shooting and perimeter play is now commonplace and it remains to be seen if Wood has the foot speed to defend a modern power forward. While his thin frame won’t be exposed much, post defense has become a tertiary concern for power forwards.
Who should start: Alperen Sengun
Alperen Sengun may not be a power forward long term, but he is already one of the Rockets’ better players and his pre-season proved that he was the steal of the draft. Sengun is already an elite offensive rebounder, his passing is a plus, and he attacks the rim with a combination of strength, grace, and skill well beyond his years.
Sengun is going to be a big part of the Rockets’ future and it makes sense to give him every available rep. Is his fit with Christian Wood questionable? Perhaps, but when a team in the Rockets’ position has a chance to build for the future and give themselves the best chance to win they need to seize on it.
Remember, Sengun was the MVP of the Turkish league as an 18-year-old. He doesn’t need to ease his way into professional basketball. Stephen Silas might not start the season starting Sengun, but his play may give him no choice.