The Rockets recently picked up Ronnie Brewer. Side note - the fact that Corey Brewer got a contract earlier than Ronnie and for more money is a freaking crime. A cursory glance by Dave Berri got him to say the following “That is one impressive collection of talent!” He’s not wrong either! Using the Rockets current roster, and adding on Brewer and using the NBA Geek gives us a crazy insight.
Big Minutes, Big Value
Here’s a list of all of the players on the Rockets that suited up over 1000 minutes last season. Their WP48 (0.100 is average, 0.200 is great) is also listed
- James Harden – 0.217 WP48
- Omer Asik – 0.169 WP48
- Greg Smith – 0.168 WP48
- Dwight Howard – 0.164 WP48
- Chandler Parson – 0.157 WP48
- Jeremy Lin – 0.091 WP48
- Fransisco Garcia – 0.062 WP48
Yipes, that’s 7 players with major minutes, of which 5 were well above average. Jeremy Lin was slightly below average last season. However, he’s still young and has shown a high ceiling. Garcia is older and has been pretty mediocre his whole career. However, based on last seasons numbers, it’s unlikely he’ll take up major minutes. For a rotation player making just over a million, Garcia’s not hurting the Rockets.
How much can you bench?
Below is the rest of the Rocket’s roster and their WP48 last season.
- Terrence Jones 0.210 WP48
- Patrick Beverley 0.206 WP48
- Omri Casspi 0.138 WP48
- Ronnie Brewer 0.132 WP48
- Reggie Williams 0.059 WP48
- Marcus Camby 0.030 WP48
- Donatas Motiejunas -0.061 WP48
- Tyler Honeycutt -0.174 WP48
Yipes! The Rockets have four really strong players coming off the bench. There are three players to be “worried” about: Camby, Motiejunas, and Honeycutt,. Camby is old and unlikely to take many minutes from Asik and Howard. Honeycutt has played virtually no minutes and is both young and cheap. Motiejunas played pretty poorly his first season. He’s young and tall and the Rockets don’t have a shortage of bigs.
The State of the Rockets
The Rockets have nine players that played significantly above average last season. They have two players that were mediocre but still decent last season. Finally, they have three players that are all some combination of cheap, tall, and/or young. In short, the Rockets look to be very scary.
It’s also worth noting the Rockets have done very well to stock up on good bigs. Howard, Asik, Smith, and Jones? There’s sometimes an odd notion that a team with too many bigs can’t play offense due to spacing concerns. However, history seems to be on the side of the teams with multiple bigs over teams with “spacing teams”. The 96-98 Bulls and the 2011-2013 Heat are really the only exceptions and they passed by having two of the greatest “small-forwards” ever, who both put up numbers like centers (LeBron James and Dennis Rodman)
There will be talk about the Rockets having potential chemistry problems or spacing the floor, etc. In reality though, the Rockets have followed a ready made strategy to a t:
- Get a few star players – Harden and Howard – check!
- Surround these players with good players – double check!
- Don’t have really bad players – triple check!
Barring injury or a bout of Paul Allen lunacy, the Rockets look to be very set for next season.