Robert Covington
Eric Christian Smith, FRE/ Associated Press

So far, the ultra-small ball tactic hasn’t been a disaster, YET. A lot of that is because Robert Covington. He’s been the Rockets X-Factor since they’ve acquired him. He’s been the much needed defensive anchor the Rockets need. On offense, the Rockets still have Janes Harden and Russell Westbrook pulling most of the weight for them. However, both players can get lazy on defense. Although Harden is a great scorer, he can’t go to the finals by shooting terrible FG% but going to the line 20 times a game. He just doesn’t play winning basketball. An all offensive team will win a lot of regular season games, but defense will ultimately win championships.

Robert Covington Stats

That’s where Robert Covington comes in, with his defense. His offensive production is helpful to the Rockets too. For the Rockets, Covington currently averages 12.8 PPG on 42.1% shooting, 1.3 APG, and 7.9 RPG. He is basically the team’s leading rebounder as he is only .1 behind Russell Westbook in rebounds per game. His production compared from playing with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Rockets hasn’t really changed. Except for the fact that he is averaging 2 more rebounds with the Rockets.

I hate the Rockets, I hate James Harden, and I hate this ultra-small ball idea. If I’m being brutally honest, I think there’s a chance they don’t make it out of the first round. They for sure won’t make it out of the 2nd round. I’d bet money on that. However, most of their success will depend on Robert Covington. Their defense needs to be on point if they are going to win a playoff series. James Harden will put on a scoring clinic, no matter how he gets his points. Russell Westbrook will score a shit ton too. But it’ll be the defense that will help the Rockets the most. Especially in an ultra small-ball lineup. Robert Covington is the Rockets’ X Factor because the thing that’ll win Rockets playoff series is not their scoring, but their defense.