The NBA Draft is under a week away, which means NBA Draftmas is back. Each day, The Game Haus will review a team’s past season, their team needs and potential draft targets. We will continue today with the Houston Rockets 2018 NBA Draft profile.
The Houston Rockets caught fire in the 2017-2018 season. With the addition of All-Star Point Guard, Chris Paul, NBA Finals hopes for Houston were very alive and well. Coach Mike D’antoni and company finished 65-17, the best regular season record in all of basketball, along with the number one seed in the West. Six-time All-Star Shooting Guard, James Harden, was looking at another shot at the “NBA Most Valuable Player” Award. Harden averaged 30.2 points per game, along with 8.8 assists and 1.8 steals. James has yet to win the coveted accolade.
During the regular season, the Rockets averaged 112.4 points per game (2nd highest in the NBA) and 15.3 three-pointers made per game (highest in the NBA). Their defense improved significantly from the previous season, no small part due to Chris Paul. During the 2016-2017 season, Houston allowed 106.4 points per game (18th in the league). In the 2017-2018 outing, The team averaged 103.8 points allowed per game (6th lowest in the league).
The Houston Rockets found themselves one series from the NBA Finals. This would be their 5th appearance in the franchise’s history, along with its first since 1995. Only the Golden State Warriors stood in their way. Unfortunately for Houston, Chris Paul suffered a hamstring injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Houston won the game and took a 3-2 lead in the series. But the Warriors found a weak spot and attacked. In Game 7, Houston tried hard to keep Golden State at bay. But on top of being C-P-3-less, constant reliance on the three-ball hurt them severely. Houston missed 27-straight three-point attempts and got outscored 58-38 in the second half. The Houston Rockets fell just short of making the NBA Finals.
Draft Picks & Needs
The Houston Rockets have only one draft pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Not to mention, it’s rather late in the second round.
Round 1: N/A
Round 2: No. 46
General Manager, Daryl Morey will need to make the most out of the one pick that Houston has have. Houston’s offense was explosive, to say the least, and their defense greatly stepped up. It wouldn’t hurt the Rockets to add to their forward positions. Preferably, this pick will need to be physical on both ends of the court, and rise up when a star player gets injured.
Target & Thoughts
Pick No. 46: Kevin Hervey, Forward, UT Arlington
Chris Paul and James Harden have both guard positions well-handled. But Houston will need someone at one of the forward positions to become a go-to if things get tight, both on offense and defense. Forward, Kevin Hervey, from the University of Texas at Arlington is one name that can take on that role as the 46th pick.
As a Maverick, Hervey averaged at least 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in three of his four years of college ball. He has also shot over a .400 overall field goal percentage and .750 from the charity stripe in that span. Scouts have praised the 22-year old for his high motor, as well as his effectiveness without the ball. His 6 foot 9 inch, 230 lb frame can give him an edge in the post and going for the rebounds.
However, his durability could be a significant dent on his draft stock. During his breakout sophomore season, Hervey suffered a knee injury after starting 16 games. This would put him out for the rest of that season. But if Keven Hervey has shown anything, it’s that he can play through the pain and then some.
The Houston Rockets have hit a high note in recent seasons, especially now with Chris Paul now in their ranks. However, taking the No.1 seed in the West and not making the NBA Finals will still sting for a while. Adjustments made in the off-season can spell out redemption from this past outing.
Houston will not expect to pick up the cream-of-the-crop prospects in this upcoming draft. But a late round pick, like Kevin Hervey, can rise to the occasion and give the extra push next season.
Be sure to check back tomorrow as we bring you the New Orleans Pelicans 2018 NBA Draft Profile!
Featured image from NBA.com
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