Analyzing the Rockets' power forward battle
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/19/2013) The Rockets' biggest question after signing Dwight Howard this offseason has been who will step up to take on the starting power forward role. Unfortunately, with less than a week left in the preseason, there really is no clarity on this situation.
Ideally, the power forward next to Howard will be someone who can stretch the floor on offense and at least rebound on defense. Unfortunately, among the frontrunners for the position right now, none seem particularly well suited to fill both necessary roles.
Terrence Jones is athletic and has solid offensive skills, but his jump shooting is still very much a question -- he has made just one 3-pointer in four preseason games. Donatas Motiejunas can stretch the floor, at least in theory, but he has not been much better than Jones. What Motiejunas does have in his favor is size and experience, as he started 14 games and nearly doubled Jones' minutes played a year ago.
The dark horse in the competition is Omri Casspi, who started at power forward in the fourth preseason game, and has really opened eyes as a floor spreader extraordinaire in the preseason. He is second on the team with 14.0 points per game, while shooting 42.1 percent with two 3-pointers per game. Casspi has neither the size nor the natural rebounding ability to be a natural fit, but his shooting brings to mind Ryan Anderson, who thrived next to Dwight in Orlando.
At this point, the battle for the four is still wide open. I wouldn't target any of this trio on Draft Day outside of extremely deep Fantasy formats. But, whichever one steps up during the season will be a hot commodity on the waiver wire.