"Well, he's our best defender for big guys," he said. "He's a very good team defender and on the ball defender. He really makes us go at that end of the court. That's probably the biggest thing."
When told about his coach's comments, Hayes considered them an honor. "I'm appreciative," he said. "Coming from my coach, I know my role on this team and what he needs me to do. That just shows what he expects out of me. Whatever I can give him offensively, I'm going to give him. But on the defensive end, he knows what he's going to get out of me."
His coach isn't the only one who knows his worth. Teammate Luther Head is one of many Rockets who realizes how valuable Hayes is. "He does a lot defensively and offensively," Head said. "He's also one of the best passers we've got. When the guys are cutting, he's one of the best guys at getting the ball to them. Defensively, he brings so much. With a guy his size being able to guard guys like Shaq and bigger guys like that, it's just a plus for us."