The Houston Rockets shook up the basketball world by trading their star guard James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. The Rockets acquired multiple players and draft picks in return for Harden and continued to improve their team both on and off the court with the acquisition of Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers. The Rockets currently carry a 3-6 overall record early in this 2020-21 NBA season and will hope to see their luck turn with a few fresh faces in the mix.
James Harden made headlines for all the wrong reasons during the offseason and even into the regular season. Between Harden’s breaching of COVID protocols and reckless statements regarding his team and coaches, the Rockets decided to act quickly and attempt to salvage their season.
Houston Rockets Starting 5 – A look at the new lineup
Now that the dust has settled and we can grasp the multi-team trade in its entirety, it is time to see how the Houston Rockets will be featuring their “beard-less” roster. The addition of Victor Oladipo presents an interesting dynamic for the Rockets’ offense, in that Oladipo has the versatility to run the point or the two-guard.
John Wall has shown great poise through all the drama surrounding his new team and should continue to run the offense from the point guard position for the time being. Oladipo could be the spark the Rockets have been looking for in terms of a team-player and locker room personality. The separation between Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers was seemingly gradual and mutual, and this could be a great fit for the 28-year-old as he enjoys his prime.
Here’s a look at the updated Houston Rockets’ starting five:
John Wall – Point Guard
John Wall has been playing his typical solid basketball since arriving in Houston, averaging 18.6 points and 5.1 assists per game for the Rockets. John Wall will likely continue to run the point and hope to see better production from his teammates moving forward.
Clearly, John Wall was not happy with the antics of James Harden, and has been rather public with his displeasure with the entire situation. Hopefully, for the sake of Wall and the Rockets, this trade will be in everyone’s best interest.
Victor Oladipo – Shooting Guard
The transistion from Indiana’s gritty offensive playstyle to the more finessed, 3-point shot-oriented Houston offense could be a tough adjustment for Victor Oladipo. Oladipo will need to play his game and shoot with confidence as he has his whole career, and he should fit right into the Rockets’ playbook.
The clock is ticking for the Houston Rockets to start winning basketball games, and the addition of an impact player such as Victor Oladipo shows that the Rockets are ready to make a run.
Eric Gordon – Small Forward
With Oladipo coming in, Eric Gordon will likely move to the small forward position for the Rockets. Eric Gordon has been playing very consistent basketball, averaging just over 14 points in 25 minutes this season. Gordon is a veteran in the NBA and will now get to play alongside fellow Indiana Hoosier, Victor Oladipo. Perhaps Eric Gordon will take on a more predominant role with Harden no longer in the picture.
P.J. Tucker – Power Forward
P.J. Tucker will likely continue to hold down the power forward position for the Houston Rockets. Tucker has been nearly non-existent this season, averaging only 5.6 points per game despite getting nearly 32 minutes of court time. Tucker could start to see fewer minutes with DeMarcus Cousins starting to get more time.
Christian Wood – Center
Christian Wood has been the big surprise for the Houston Rockets this season, making highlight plays on both ends of the floor and scoring in bunches. Wood averages a team-leading 22.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game this season. With James Harden gone, Christian Wood could emerge as a star on this new Rockets team.
Published 14 Jan 2021, 05:05 IST