When Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets managed to pick up Nenê from the Washington Wizards the last offseason, the obvious question and concern arose from many fans: will he be healthy? The then 33-year old was coming off his 14th season in the NBA. But thanks to the Rockets excellent coaching staff, they were able to keep the veteran in shape for a vast majority of the season by carefully managing his minutes.
Unfortunately, as many Houston fans remember, it all came to a halt with the unexpected injury during Game 4 in the 2nd Round against the San Antonio Spurs. But, this single injury did not represent what Nenê contributed to the Rockets as a whole this season. The center from Brazil was a huge difference maker in the paint.
Nenê finished the year averaging 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds on 61.7 percent shooting in just 18 minutes per game. His shooting percentage was the highest of his entire 15-year career, and he also played a career-high-tying 67 games, starting 8 of them. Below are his full season stats, straight from the folks at Basketball Reference.
If anything else, Nenê definitely brought some physicality to the Rockets. Seriously, the dude looks like he could compete in WWE. Nene’s uncanny passing ability, combined with his skill in the post and ability to knock down an open jumper, made the Big Brazilian crucial to Coach D’Antoni’s rotation.
Nene’s contract is up, and he’s now an unrestricted free agent. Coming of a healing injury and being a 35-year old center in the league would be something to think about upon resigning.
So, for that, Nenê would earn a B- in my book. Let us know your thoughts.