After a bit of a shaky start to the season, the Houston Rockets are back to playing Houston Rocket’s basketball. Standing at 13-7, James Harden and Dwight Howard weren’t the reason for those 13 victories … it was from key contributions from the Rocket’s role players. Not only have they stepped up, but they have been consistent as well, especially with the many injuries Houston has and is already currently dealing with. Are they all averaging double-digits in scoring? No. But they are chipping in the little things that make a big difference.
Chandler Parsons has been the most impressive Rocket this season. Parsons is averaging 17.2 points, 3.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game and is shooting an impressive 53 percent from the field. Parsons has truly stepped up his level of play and is playing on a higher and more consistent basis. He is doing more for this team this season. Something I have noticed is his aggressiveness. He’s attacking the rim and doing more when the ball is in his hands, instead of just being a spot-up shooter. And he is only 25 years old. Parsons is going to be a key piece for this Rocket’s future.
Terrence Jones has taken a huge leap forward in his game. Last year with the Rockets, he didn’t start any games, but this season, he has already started 11 of the 16 . His minutes per game also went up by 8.3. He is shooting 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Jones’ rebounds per game has also increased from 3.4 to 6.3 and his points per game has elevated from 5.5 to 9.6. And once again, he is only 21 years of age.
At 32 years of age, Francisco Garcia is playing a veteran’s role on this team. Although Garcia is averaging just 7.9 points per game, he is averaging 43 percent from the field and has had six games in which he has scored in double-digits this season.
Omri Casspi has been a great piece for this Rockets team because of his solid performances. Although Casspi is averaging just 9.2 points per game, he is shooting 48 percent from the field and grabbing 4.2 boards a game. Casspi has also already had seven games in which he has scored in double-digits.
Aaron Brooks hasn’t put up great performances on a consistent basis, but does have games here and there where he really steps up. Against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooks posted 26 points, five assists and four rebounds. And keep in mind he shot 10-for-14 from the field and hit six 3s. And versus the Atlanta Hawks, Brooks finished with 21 points and four assists. He shot 58 percent from the field and made four 3-pointers.
Patrick Beverley isn’t too consistent shooting-wise, but has stepped up big-time on grabbing boards and dishing out assists. Beverley has stepped up his minutes per game as well, going from 17.4 minutes per gamre last season to 30.9 minutes per game this season.
The great thing about Houston’s role players is that they are all young and have solid potential. The Rockets have some great pieces to utilize for their bright future ahead.