Rockets

What House’s Return Means for the Rockets

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In the midst of a nine-game win streak, Rockets fans have even more reason to rejoice. GM Daryl Morey has decided to bring swingman Danuel House back to the active roster.

House gives the Rockets even more depth and lineup flexibility. He will be a crucial addition as we head toward the end of the regular season. Can he be the difference against Golden State?

House’s Brief Stint with Houston

On November 26th, the Rockets signed House to a two-way contract. This is a system that grants teams the ability to offer contracts to undrafted players and essentially keep them on retainer. Like a gift from God, House quickly inserted himself into the starting lineup and found incredible success.

As a starter, House averaged 10.8 points per game on an unbelievable 48.6% from distance. It wasn’t just his scoring and ability to run the floor, though. House’s lateral quickness allowed him to efficiently cover the opposition’s best players. He emerged as the team’s best perimeter defender, contributing to the Rockets outscoring opponents by seven points per 100 possessions with him on the court. With House – during their toughest stretch of the season in terms of opponent winning percentage – the Rockets went 12-3.

The issue, though, is that each player under a two-way contract is only allowed to spend 45 days in the NBA. Unless they are signed to a new contract, they must spend the remainder of the season in the G-League. The Rockets offered House a three-year deal once his 45 days were up, but House turned it down in hopes for a more lucrative contract in the future.

After months of dealing with poor play from wings such as James Ennis and Iman Shumpert, the Rockets have finally brought House back.

House’s Spot in the Rotation

Coming into this season, the Rockets were panned for their lack of depth. After a devastating loss in the WCF, they lost key perimeter defenders in Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. At the beginning of the year, a palpable absence was certainly felt. When House originally arrived, he efficiently filled this void and gave the Rockets some much needed consistency.

In the aftermath of his departure from the active roster, though, the team once again became complacent. They lost three out of their first five games without him. The Rockets today, however, are an entirely different team than they were two months ago. They are finally back to full health, and have added important roster pieces such as Kenneth Faried.

While House did prove himself to be a capable NBA starter, the Rockets, now healthy, do not necessarily need him to be the same high volume scorer. What I mean to say is that now that Chris Paul and Eric Gordon have returned from injury, some of the scoring burden will be taken off House’s shoulders. Instead, he can focus on his main skills – his defensive quickness and ability to run the floor. Additionally, he can knock down open shots at a high clip without having to worry about creating offense for himself this time around.

The “GreenHouse Effect”

Back when House was on the team originally, the nickname “GreenHouse Effect” was coined for the moments when he and Gerald Green shared the court together. With that duo on the floor, the Rockets outscored opponents by an outrageous 27 points per 100 possessions:

I’ve talked a lot about the numbers and House’s skillsets but, above all else, House brought the Rockets a sense of chemistry they desperately needed. From the get-go, he fit in extraordinarily well. It was a joy to watch the high-flying Gerald Green team up with someone that could keep up with him. Now back with the active roster, House is exactly the type of presence the Rockets will love to have in the locker room come playoff time.

As shown in the quote above, Danuel House is excited to return to Houston. He had the best stretch of his career in Rockets red, and will be a vital part of the push for higher seeding in the playoffs. The Rockets are already 1-0 against the Warriors this season when House is playing. He may be the key to giving them four more if that time comes in May.

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About Zach Zola

Zach Zola is a student at Brown University studying English. He grew up in New York, but has been a die-hard Rockets fan since the days of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He believes that James Harden is the only King James in the NBA.

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