Houston Rockets starting lineup 2020 is going to be a star-studded one, with James Harden and Russell Westbrook leading the way.
Any team would be lucky enough to have 2 different NBA MVP’s in their team. With Harden and Westbrook Rockets have that.
The Houston franchise currently sits 6th in the western conference with a record of 40-24. The Rockets face Dallas Mavericks on 31st July at their return to the NBA ‘Bubble’.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) June 26, 2020
Houston Rockets starting lineup 2020: The Beard and Brodie reunited
Houston decided that the pairing of James Harden and Chris Paul didn’t work, so the Rockets decided to bring in Russell Westbrook from OKC.
Which meant they reunited Harden and Westbrook from their time at OKC. The pair last played together in 2012.
And as many teams feared that they would form a lethal partnership and that was the case.
Harden is having another MVP worthy season with 34.4 points, and 7.4 assists per game this season. Harden is the highest-scoring player this season.
Westbrook isn’t that far behind with averages of 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists so far this season. The two have combined to make the Rockets the second-highest scoring team this season in the NBA.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) June 27, 2020
But the real problem has been on the defensive end.
Also Read: How will the Bucks lineup in the NBA Bubble
Switch to Small Ball: How has the Rockets supporting cast faired?
Despite their great offensive record, the defensive side has been the worry for Houston this season. They have the 22nd worst defensive record in the league this season.
They switched to a complete small ball play when they traded Clint Capela and bought in Robert Covington.
Small Ball is a style of play that sacrifices height, physical strength, and low post offense/defense in favor of a lineup of smaller players for speed, agility, and increased scoring.
This pushed P.J. Tucker to the starting center role. Covington is one of the better three-and-d players in the league. Adding his shooting in with Harden and Westbrook has been a big plus.
PJ Tucker and Danuel House also provide decent scoring options. But with no true center in the lineup, there is no one to pick up the rebounds and provide defensive stability to the team. Austin Rivers, Eric Gordan, Ben McLemore are decent scoring options off the bench.
They lead the league in 3-pointers attempted and are second in 3-pointers made.
But the lack of defensive support and depth is the real problem for the Rockets.
Houston Rockets’ predicted lineup for the ‘Bubble’ restart:-
- Power Forward – Robert Covington
- Shooting Guard- James Harden
- Small Forward- Danuel House
- Center- PJ Tucker
- Point Guard – Russell Westbrook
The Rockets are expected to follow the Small Ball tactics again once the NBA restarts. Harden and Westbrook will have to come up with remarkable performances at the ‘Bubble’ if they wanna make it deep into the playoffs, due to the lack of defensive cover.