Houston Rockets: Where Do They Stand In The West?

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Nov 2, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets power forward

Terrence Jones

(6) and shooting guard

James Harden

(13) box out Utah Jazz small forward

Mike Harris

(33) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. Houston won 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Internal Growth

The Rockets could also take somewhat of a jump in terms of internal growth. I am specifically talking about Jones, Motiejunas and Harden. These three could certainly improve their games in certain areas and there is the possibility that they could do that this season.

Motiejunas showed us in Summer League that he is not just some fluke when he took home All-NBA Summer League honors at the power forward position. The Lithuanian big man put on a clinic in the Summer League and led the Rockets to the championship game in Las Vegas. Motiejunas has an established post game, isn’t a bad defender by any means, and has the makings of a Steven Adams-type role for this team. If the 24-year-old could learn to play defense without excessively fouling and translated what we’ve seen of him in the past few Summer Leagues to the NBA, he could definitely fit the mold of a solid bench player.

Jones could also look to improve defensively after a lackluster performance against Lamarcus Aldridge in the first two games of the playoffs against Portland. Believe it or not, Jones still has some room to grow and become an even more polished player for this team. We’ve talked about how Jones could become the “X-Factor” for this team before if you want to go check that out.

Harden has been on the record of saying that he will put forth a better effort on the defensive end. We did see a renewed effort on his part with his play for Team USA this summer and it could certainly translate into the NBA game.  Ultimately, it’s up to Harden if he wants to make that next step into super stardom. If he can become just an average defender, the Rockets are in for a real treat. Whether or not all these internal improvements will happen remains to be seen.