The superstars are stepping up as expected, but the Houston Rockets are establishing another force that could give them the edge needed to win it all.
The knock on the Houston Rockets has often been that they’re too reliant on one man. The criticism has been understandable, as it has frequently been the supporting cast that goes cold in big moments. Through three games in the bubble, however, there are signs that this could be changing for Space City.
When Daryl Morey picked up Jeff Green in the middle of the season, it was a low-risk, high-reward move. Green had shown up in just 30 games with the Utah Jazz before being waived. The Rockets saw value in what he could bring to the team, however, given his versatility and size.
So far, the experiment couldn’t have worked out much better for both sides. The 33-year-old is shooting a career-high 41.8 percent from beyond the arc, where the Rockets make their living.
In turn, Green is getting what he’s wanted all along in his NBA career: to play an important role on a team contending for an NBA championship. So far in his three games on the Orlando campus, Jeff is averaging 13.7 points to go along with 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game on 43.8 percent shooting.
Green is coming off his best performance as a Houston Rocket, scoring 22 points and pulling down six rebounds in 28 minutes of action. Although the Rockets lost, much of that was in part to missing open shots and having rare off nights from their stars.
The Houston Rockets are getting a full House in Orlando
Much like Jeff Green, Danuel House has stepped up well as a utility player for Houston. After scoring 13 points total in the final three games before the NBA shut down, House immediately pitched in 20 in the team’s restart debut against the Dallas Mavericks.
House followed that performance up with a 16-point, four-rebound showing against the Milwaukee Bucks in which he made a crucial steal in the final minute of the game to seal the victory for the Rockets.
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After briefly giving up his starting role to Eric Gordon in the warm-up games last month, Gordon’s ankle injury has opened the door for House to thrive in what should have always remained his role — as a starter.
House is averaging 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in three games. In his first 64 games, he was a 10.2 points-per-game scorer.
Too often in the past, the Rockets have only been able to rely on their one star and hope that a combination of role players can also get hot at the right time.
The emergence of Green and House Version 2.0 has given Mike D’Antoni more weapons to rely on.
Time will tell if this GreenHouse Effect can continue their reliable contributions in the playoffs — after all, Rockets’ fans have been fooled before.
For now, let’s appreciate what they’re doing to help Houston get into a prime position for the playoffs.