NBA analyst and former Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy joined the Granato and Raheel with Del show on ESPN 97.5 and shared his thoughts on the Rockets trade for Chris Paul. What really impressed Van Gundy was the Rockets' ability to stay competitive and avoid tanking while they rebuilt the roster. As far as Paul’s fit with the team, he believes that will come down to sacrifice. Paul will have to play with a faster pace and take more three-point shots.
Chris Paul will impact the playoffs
Van Gundy believes the Rockets will win around 60 games next year, but Paul’s biggest impact will come in the post season. When James Harden needs to rest for a few minutes, the Rockets will still have an elite future Hall of Fame guard on the court that can generate offense.
Adding Paul may just be the first move the Rockets make this off-season. Another player that has been linked to the team is the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George. Van Gundy said if George ends up in Houston the team will “take a backseat to no one in the playoffs.” Van Gundy thinks George is the best player out there for any team and he will be heavily pursued. His defense is the key to improving the Rockets because their offense won’t get much better than it was last year. The team has definitely improved with the addition of Chris Paul, but Van Gundy cautions that elevating the defense should be a priority.
Houston teams are looking good
Finally, Van Gundy shared his thoughts on the state of the Texans and Astros. He’s excited about the depth of the Astros and their ability to keep winning after suffering so many injuries to the starting pitching staff. He also expressed his appreciation for the trade the Texans made to move up and draft quarterback Deshaun Watson. He likes that Texans GM Rick Smith was all in on the pick, and respects general managers that make bold moves.
You can hear the entire segment below. Catch Granato and Raheel with Del weekdays from 9-11am on ESPN 97.5 radio. You can listen live or on demand with the ESPN 97.5 radio app.