What is going on with Omer Asik and the organization? First he is mad about his role on the team and demands a trade. Then the Rockets choose not to play him for a couple of games. Now, reports are that Asik will return to practice. It's all a little like Days of Our Lives in Houston right now.
For how well the Rockets organization is run, it is a surprise to know that the Omer Asik situation has thrown a wrench in that. The Rockets aren't convinced that trading him is the answer, especially since there's no one on the market worth the trade. But of course, Daryl Morey has pulled rabbits out of hats before so we shouldn't be surprised if he in fact gets traded.
Dwight Howard is the Houston's starting center right now. Backing him up are Greg Smith, who has already been briefly sidelined by injury, and Donatas Motiejunas, who rarely sees any playing time. This is not a deep team at center. Can the Rockets afford to trade Asik if that is what everything comes down to?
The Rockets clearly cannot afford to trade Asik. The season is long and Howard will get injured and nicked along the way. Having a viable top 10 center as back-up allows the Rockets to continue playing without a drastic drop off in production. Sure, Asik scores less points but the rebounds and defense will be there.
Let's stick with the Asik theme, shall we? To begin the season, head coach Kevin McHale was starting Howard alongside of Asik. While it may have seemed feasible that this would work, it certainly has not panned out. Why did it take so long for this pairing to be phased out?
Kevin McHale really wanted the pairing to work. Even if it meant risking some early game slumps along the way. I credit McHale for trotting them both out there. If a coach is going to experiment with two centers, the time to do it is in the first couple of games. It's clear, they didn't work together and McHale has remedy that.
Houston's perimeter defense is bad. There is no way to sugarcoat it. How does Houston scheme to stop an explosive Dallas offense?
Houston's perimeter defense is atrocious. This is nothing new for Rockets fans. Aside from Patrick Beverley and perhaps Chandler Parsons, Houston can't guard a wing to save their season. I'm probably overreacting but it's an issue that's been ongoing, going back to last season. The only solution is for players to commit to playing defense. Harden was heralded as a decent perimeter defender when he was with OKC, but it seems it's left his repertoire. For Harden to make the transition to one of the best, that's the part of his game that needs the most work.
Ronnie Brewer is one of my favorite players in the league. (Seriously.) Yet, he gets little to no playing time in McHale's rotation. He's a solid player that can contribute good minutes which makes his role on the Rockets all the more frustrating. Would a "Free Ronnie Brewer" campaign gain any traction or should he just hope to be moved in any possible Asik trade?
McHale is a great coach but he's a better motivator in my opinion. One of his faults as coach is his refusal to give more minutes to the bench. Brewer is just one of a handful of players who I think should get more minutes. Not prime minutes mind you, but minutes none the less. Brewer is just one of many. You can add Aaron Brooks and Donatas Motiejunas to that list. Hopefully, as the season goes on, we will see more of the bench.
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