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(The Monitor): Former Vipers competing for Rockets' backup PG

Discussion in 'Rio Grande Valley Vipers' started by HoopScribe, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. HoopScribe

    HoopScribe Member

    Jul 19, 2013
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    HIDALGO — Two former Vipers are battling for the Houston Rockets’ backup point guard spot with less than a week left in the preseason.

    The competition for Patrick Beverley’s insurance card is arguably the most intense for the Rockets, who are in town for the fourth Rocket Launch culminating in Sunday’s preseason game against Golden State at State Farm Arena.

    Four-year veteran Ish Smith (a Viper in 2010-11) and second-year Isaiah Canaan (a Viper last season) are playing to fulfill a glaring hole on a team that has championship aspirations.

    “Isaiah struggled for a while, and then he played pretty well the last couple of games,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “Ish has been pretty solid all along. We’re still looking at those guys.

    “I won’t play three point guards. One of those guys is sitting. It’s up to them to see who plays well and who wants it.”

    Canaan, selected by the Rockets with the 34th overall pick in the 2013 draft, is averaging 10.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting in 13 minutes per game. Smith, who is in his second stint with the Rockets, is averaging six points on 45.8 percent shooting in 17.3 minutes per game. Smith has eight turnovers. Canaan has four.

    Canaan is the scorer/shooter. Smith is the pass-first playmaker and a disruptive defender.

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