Rockets Will Tweak Starting Lineup Because Of Russell Westbrook

Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 12, 2019 12:20 PM UTC

The Rockets traded Chris Paul, first round picks in 2024 and 2026 and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 to the Thunder for star point guard Russell Westbrook and according to a report they will tweak their starting lineup.

<div><p>Per Jonathan Feigen, beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, Eric Gordon, who has been the Rockets' sixth man for many of their games over the last three seasons, agreed to sign a four-year, $76 million maximum contract extension and according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic, the team wants him in the starting lineup in 2019-20 to add another floor-spacer alongside Russell Westbrook.</p><p><em>"What will help Westbrook is playing alongside multiple floor spacers. D'Antoni has been working with his staff throughout the offseason to tailor his offense to optimize Westbrook's strengths. Westbrook will be paired with Eric Gordon for a majority of his minutes, especially with the second-unit. A team source told The Athletic that Gordon is also very likely to start this season alongside Harden and Westbrook.</em></p><p><em>The idea is to have an elite athlete on the floor to rebound the basketball and create offense in transition. With more space, Westbrook will have increased possessions where he can be unpredictable and take proper advantage of his speed and utilize his array of hesitation moves."</em></p><p><a href=";book=Picks-Odds" target="_blank"><img alt src="" style="width:100%" /></a></p><p>Westbrook, his agent and the Thunder worked together to send the 2017 NBA MVP to a destination of his choice and he wanted to reunite with James Harden, who convinced the Rockets to go after his former teammate in OKC.</p><p>Harden and Westbrook played together with the Thunder for three years and their Big Three with Kevin Durant reached the 2012 NBA Finals, eventually losing to the Heat in five games. The addition of Westbrook keeps the Rockets as contenders in a Western Conference that will be loaded with star power.</p><p>Can head coach Mike D'Antoni reconstruct his offense to tailor the needs of Harden, Westbrook and Gordon? It's clear that the Rockets will go as far as Harden and Westbrook's willingness to sacrifice takes them.</p><p><strong>Rockets Roster &amp; Starting Lineup</strong></p><p>*Notates expected starter</p><p>C: Clint Capela*, Tyson Chandler, Nene<br />PF: P.J. Tucker*, Isaiah Hartenstein, Dyonta Davis<br />SF: Eric Gordon*, Danuel House Jr., Gerald Green, Gary Clark<br />SG: James Harden*, Michael Frazier, William McDowell-White<br />PG: Russell Westbrook*, Austin Rivers, Chris Chiozza, Shamorie Ponds, Chris Clemons</p><p>It was a busy offseason for the Rockets, in addition to the Westbrook trade and Gordon's extension, they also agreed to a five-year $90 million extension with Clint Capela, re-signed Gerald Green, Austin Rivers and Nene and signed Tyson Chandler.</p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;James Harden dropped 48 PTS. &lt;br /&gt;Eric Gordon forced OT and stepped up in crunch time. &lt;br /&gt;What a game. &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;January 20, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><div> </div><p>Eric Gordon became more of a fixture in the starting lineup last season, he came off the bench in just 15 of his 68 regular season games and he started in the team's 11 playoff games.</p><p>Gordon averaged 16.2 points in 31.7 minutes in the regular season, making 36.0 percent of his 3-point attempts and 17.8 points in 37.3 minutes in the playoffs, shooting 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. He was one of six players to make 200 3-pointers each of the last three seasons. The others were Stephen Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker.</p><p><u><strong>Odds To Win The Western Conference<br />(Courtesy of <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">5Dimes</a>)</strong></u></p><p>Los Angeles Clippers +245</p><p>Los Angeles Lakers +290</p><p>Houston Rockets +495</p><p>Golden State Warriors +875</p><p>Utah Jazz +950</p><p>Denver Nuggets +1300</p><p>Portland Trail Blazers +2400</p><p>San Antonio Spurs +5000</p><p>Dallas Mavericks +5500</p><p>New Orleans Pelicans +7000</p><p>Sacramento Kings +17000</p><p>Minnesota Timberwolves +24500</p><p>Oklahoma City Thunder +27500</p><p>Phoenix Suns +50000</p><p>Memphis Grizzlies +50000</p></div>
comment here