Small-ball lineups have become a must-have for most teams in the NBA over the past few seasons.
As the game continues to transition further and further away from the traditional offense that typically features a low-post big man dominating touches as the other four guys space the floor, teams have begun placing players in untraditional spots in order to gain an advantage with quickness, shooting, athleticism, and overall lineup versatility.
On the journey toward becoming a future contender, the Rockets have the pieces in place to help ride the transitional wave the league continues to drown in. Which guys get the nod in the ideal small-ball lineup for Silas in Houston?
Bleacher Report played around with this idea and came up with a Rockets lineup that could be dangerous for opposing teams at full potential.
- Kevin Porter Jr.
- Jalen Green
- Eric Gordon
- Jabari Smith Jr.
- Jae'Sean Tate
In this lineup, one Silas could certainly assemble many times next season, the floor spacing is key. Any of Houston's best possible lineups should always include guards Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr, as their supreme scoring ability is unmatched by anyone on the roster.
Forward Jae'Sean Tate lacks the size that is needed out of a true small-ball center, but his defensive ferociousness and tough-nosed play style make him an easy candidate to place on the inside when needed. Rookie Tari Eason could fall into this category as well in the coming seasons.
Jabari Smith Jr's size at 6-10, 220 would serve well as an interior five also, but his ability to hang with the NBA's best is still unknown at this point as a 19-year-old rookie. His potential as an elite shooter also makes it hard to limit him as a paint presence for most possessions.
Eric Gordon is the smallest of the five at 6-3, but he has veteran experience as a catch-and-shoot threat in smaller lineups during years under former Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni.
Should this lineup struggle with overall size, inserting Alpern Sengun in place of either Gordon or Smith Jr. would give Houston a true interior big man.
This might not be considered a true small-ball attack with Sengun, but he proved as a rookie last season that he's confident at shooting from deep when left open. He made just 29 of 117 3-pointers last season (24.8 percent), but those are numbers that show he's already got the right mindset as a shooter.
The Rockets could be one of the NBA's worst teams this season, but they have no shortage of exciting lineup options headed into October.
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