General manager Daryl Morey is trying to do big things with the Houston Rockets. First it was the trade for James Harden, and he followed that up with the signing of Dwight Howard. They have a solid rotation and the pieces are there to make a run to the NBA Finals. The one position that still seems to have question marks is at power forward.
Head coach Kevin McHale started the season by trying to use his own Twin Towers and go with Omer Asik alongside Howard. After eight games of that, McHale has decided to go in a new direction and started Terrence Jones last night.
After playing a total of 16 minutes in the team’s first seven games. Jones has played 32 and 37 minutes in the last two. The numbers are modest at this point: 8.5 points on 7-for-19 shooting. But, he has pulled down 21 rebounds in those two games. Jones, who has been slow to develop so far in his tenure in the league, has been given the perfect opportunity to play alongside Howard.
Jones provides an element that Asik did not in that he can step out and shoot the three. The Rockets needed a power forward out there who could stretch the floor all along because it gives Howard the entire paint to operate. Jones also has seven blocks in the two games where he has played significant minutes, meaning he can more than hold his own when it comes to protecting the paint.
While it is unfortunate for Asik that his playing time will be significantly reduced after such a strong year last season, the Rockets have much loftier goals and the best way to achieve them is to play Jones at the four.