New Houston Rockets forward Marquese Chriss has finally found a role that he’s happy with on an NBA team.
After two unsatisfying seasons with the Phoenix Suns, the former eighth overall pick in the 2016 draft is looking forward to contending for a championship in Houston by doing what he does best: playing hard, rim-running, and using every bit of his extreme athleticism.
Per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, Chriss is relieved to have a clear role on the team. While describing the fit, Chriss also threw a barb at Phoenix, saying:
“The difference is they know what they want me to do. They’re asking me to do a specific job. I’m trying to do it to the best of my ability. There really is no question about what they want my role to be. They made it straightforward to me when I first got traded here. I embraced it and I’m working to do it as best as I can.”
In Phoenix, Chriss was used as more of a stretch four, but his 3-point shot never materialized, and he is a career 30 percent shooter from downtown. This led to games where he would wander aimlessly along the perimeter, totally neutralizing his athleticism.
Coach Mike D’Antoni would like to eliminate that from Chriss’ game. He envisions him as a sort of Clint Capela lite type player, someone that is a consistent lob threat and can protect the rim when his starting center sits.
D’Antoni was complimentary about Chriss even after a shaky preseason game where he turned the ball over five times in limited minutes. He described Chriss as;
“…so athletic, he can go fast without looking like he’s going fast. He’s got a lot of talent. We need certain things and I think he can give it to us. I think he’s going to be a force. We didn’t do our pick-and-rolls great, but he’s one guy you can lob to. He can block shots at the rim. He gives you another athlete on the floor.”