With Russell Westbrook Out, Ben McLemore could provide a spark

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Ben McLemore has showed his importance to the Houston Rockets this season. Now that Russell Westbrook will miss partial of the playoffs, McLemore’s minutes will increase. Before the Rockets played the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers, he shot 40% from three this season. McLemore has become a reliable shooter for the Rockets. The last Rocket to accomplish that, was Luther Head in 2006-2007. Hopefully, McLemore continues this shooting for the Rockets as the playoffs approach.

            Ben McLemore’s confidence has been regained while playing with the Rockets. James Harden and Russell Westbrook have relied on McLemore on the outside corner. McLemore is 17th in the league at three-point shots made on the season. Also, while shooting 40% from three, he leads this Rockets’ team in that percentile category. As he can get hot at any second, McLemore shot a career high of eight three pointers made against the Toronto Raptors on December 5, 2019.

            “There’s no reason why he’s not an NBA player. And a good one,” as Mike D’Antoni said in September of 2019.

            Ben McLemore can finish on transition because of his athleticism and quickness. D’Antoni has designed plays for James Harden or Westbrook to throw him lobs. McLemore has a great field goal percentage by making 45.2% of his buckets. The Rockets just do not rely on McLemore’s shooting but his energy plays. His offensive rating is 115.5 which is better than Hardens by one point. McLemore has become a flexible option for D’Antoni.

            The only thing McLemore needs to work on before the playoffs is his defensive. McLemore does have certain issues on when it comes to defensive assignments. That has caused a certain concern for D’ Antoni in the past. D’ Antoni has pulled McLemore because of those issues. Hopefully, McLemore fixes those defensive issues because the Rockets need his offensive on the court. But if McLemore cannot fix these issues, his minutes can decrease for the playoffs.

            McLemore has shown some serious growth while playing with the Rockets. Hopefully, he will continue to grow with the Rockets.

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