If the Rockets don’t play defense and don’t intend to play defense, why do they have a small forward rotation that consists entirely of defensively-oriented players? There’s Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, there’s P.J. Tucker, and there’s Trevor Ariza. That sort of redundancy is comparable to the redundancy of having two high-caliber ball-handlers in James Harden and Chris Paul.
Trevor Ariza gets to start because John Wall made him look like a good scorer once upon a time. Meanwhile, Mbah a Moute has never in his life looked like a good scorer even when playing alongside such point guard luminaries as Brandon Jennings and Michael Carter-Williams, so he gets to come off the bench and fight P.J. Tucker for minutes. I’m personally rooting for Mbah a Moute to get most of the backup SF minutes for two reasons: 1.) I like how he plays defense without being super intense about it like Tucker is and 2.) I will always cherish my memory of rookie Mbah a Moute coming to the Bucks and immediately putting Charlie Villanueva out of work.
Oh yeah, bonus third reason: those sweet, sweet Cameroonian views.