The role of backup point guard is quite vital in today’s NBA, not only to the Houston Rockets (although, it’s especially vital to them), but the entire league. It’s a player who comes into games that already have their own flow, runs the second unit, fills in for a starter in the unfortunate case he gets injured, and, being that he’ll have the ball when they’re on the floor more times than not, exist as a dependable scoring option.
An 82 game season can be painfully long, making depth chart changes uncomfortably fluid for struggling teams that treat lineup alterations as some sort of combination lock keeping them from opening up a treasure chest full of success. The Rockets will likely fall under that category this season, and during training camp they’ll have three guys battling for the right to give Jeremy Lin a breather: Toney Douglas, Scott Machado, and Shaun Livingston. All are newcomers to the organization, with Douglas and Livingston acquired as filler in separate trades during the summer.
In typical Rockets fashion, all are playing on salvageable deals that could easily be the last of their careers. Livingston and Douglas have experience, displaying blips of exciting play in their careers, but it’s more than possible only one of the three makes the opening day roster. [read more…]