Why do we assume Hill over Jeffries?

Looking at the box score from the previous game, we see that Jared Jeffries logged 22 minutes to just three for Jordan Hill.  Now preseason games are not indicative of the actual rotation, but this really begs the question: why do we just assume Hill will be a regular?

We can all probably agree that Patrick Patterson won’t see minutes this season, at least at the start.  But what of the rest of the 4-5 depth chart?  Yao and Luis Scola are penciled in as mainstays.  You would think that newly acquired Brad Miller is assured a spot.  How do we sort out Hill, Hayes, and Jeffries?

I think its our own wishful thinking that leads us to conclusively write in Hill.  We desperately want him to succeed and become that athletic big we’ve never had.  But is he even better than Jeffries?  The fact that Hill saw regular minutes to close last season really means nothing.  Coach Adelman likely wanted to give the youngster some time in a lost season.  This year is a different matter.

Out of  Hayes, Hill, and Jeffries, none provide offense, at least against NBA talent.  But Hayes and Jeffries are not just good defenders – they’re elite. For a club struggling to regain its lost identity, playing time for these two must be an attractive option for the staff.  Lowry, Lee, Battier, Hayes, Jeffries, and Yao gives the Rockets six good to elite individual defenders.

I think Adelman will play the 4th big man spot (after Yao-Scola-Miller) by matchup.  But I don’t think it’s safe at all to assume Jeffries is the last man off the bench.  He very well could be above Jordan Hill on the depth chart.

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