Should the Houston Rockets pursue Eric Bledsoe? Part 2, a defensive comparison to Patrick Beverley

The Eric Bledsoe negotiations continue.  I posed the question last week whether the Rockets should be in pursuit of the free agent guard.  It’s time to look deeper into the numbers.  To begin, Bledsoe’s greatest selling point may be that while he isn’t anywhere near elite offensively, he has developed a reputation as a true “two-way” player, someone able to provide significantly above average production on both ends of the floor.  Let’s dig in to Bledsoe’s defensive numbers.

The obvious point of comparison here would be Patrick Beverley, the man Bledsoe would be signed to replace in the starting lineup, if acquired.  As is the case with any statistical exploration, take these numbers with a grain of salt as any player’s individual production is inherently linked within the ecosystem of defensive schemes and interactions in which he exists.  Houston ranked 13th in the league last season in defensive efficiency; Phoenix was 15th.

Bledsoe’s man scored on 38.5% of his opportunities against him.  That figure was 39% for Beverley.

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Houston Rockets’ summer assignment list: Part 4, Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones last year, in his first regular stint of playing time, at just 22 years of age, put up twelve points and seven rebounds per game on 54% shooting from the field.  Per 36 minutes, that already impressive production stretches out to a meaty 16 and 9.  Despite my criticisms, this is a chip.

In many ways, Jones was the very symbol of the Rockets’ 2013-2014 campaign.  It was Jones’ insertion into the starting lineup, in place of the plodding Omer Asik, that catapulted Houston into the upper echelon of offensive units, his cuts to the rim and overall deft finishing ability (72% on close field goals) providing Dwight Howard and James Harden the room they needed to operate.  It was Jones’ steady play that allowed Daryl Morey to hold his hand at the deadline rather than cash in on one of the unflattering Asik deals on the market, and it was Jones’ play, perhaps, that kept Morey from overpaying for the veteran he probably needed.  In the playoffs, Jones’ position was the difference where he had no business sharing the court with forward LaMarcus Aldridge – the team had no choice but to play Asik and Howard in concert, simply to keep Aldridge, relatively speaking, at bay.

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The Red94 Podcast: On the Jason Terry trade and Rajon Rondo speculation

In today’s episode, Forrest Walker and I broke down the trade that brought Jason Terry to the Rockets and also discussed the speculation surrounding Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.

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Should the Houston Rockets pursue Eric Bledsoe? Part 1

There is one sole impact free agent remaining on the market and subsequently mentions of his name fill my timeline regularly with readers inquiring as to both the feasibility and advisability of an acquisition of said player.  I’m speaking of course, of Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe who has yet to reach terms with his incumbent suitor, staring a potential qualifying offer in the eye.  If the Rockets were to roll the dice, the feat would require a sign&trade with Houston jettisoning the glut of non-guaranteed contracts they’ve been hoarding over the past month.  In fact, a deal like this is specifically why Daryl Morey has moved quickly on so many unconventional agreements.

But would Bledsoe be a smart play?  This series seeks to ascertain the answer to that very question.  (I am aware the ‘summer assignment’ series has not reached its natural conclusion, but the final installment–regarding Terrence Jones–is rather lengthy, as you’d imagine).  One caveat: please do not link or tweet to this post/series in sourcing Houston interest in Bledsoe.  This post is intended as pure speculation and due diligent prior analysis in the event of a forthcoming deal; I do not have any information on this front nor have I heard anything.  So please don’t do that or I will be very irritated and will write angry tweets. Read More »

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The Red94 Podcast: Episode 53

In today’s episode, Forrest Walker and I discuss James Harden’s proclamation that he himself is the best all-around player in the NBA.

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