Houston Rockets: Off-Season European Vacation


AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK

AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK

The Houston Rockets have a nucleus of young players that have been reported to have been working out together, Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Patrick Beverly have all tweeted about their Los Angeles, and Asian workouts.

But what have the other Rockets players been up too? Michael Ma has already posted about Francisco Garcia doing his thing in Venezuela. Meanwhile in Slovenia, Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas, and Omri Casspi are all playing in the EuroBasket tournament.

Motiejunas will be competing for a starting spot next to Howard, but hasn’t crack the Lithuania starting lineup.  Playing sparingly off the bench, Motiejunas has shot pretty well, going 8 of 15, while playing an average of 13 minutes per game. He has bulked up in the off-season, which will prove useful upon his return to the Rockets.

Omri Casspi showed flashes in a blowout loss against France, finishing with finishing with 14 points on 3 of 8 shooting. In his three games, Casspi has made just 7 of 30 shots, though that includes his dreadful opener when he went 1 of 10 inside the arc against Great Britain. He won’t be taking 10 shots inside the 3-point line with the Rockets too often. He’s 4 of 14 on 3s so far. Although Israel hasn’t played well in the tournament Casspi has gotten  plenty of opportunities.

Asik has played limited minutes but hasn’t strayed from what we are accustomed to seeing. Asik’s taken six shots in two games and made them all. He did not play much in Turkey’s loss to Italy, which might help explain the loss to Italy.

The play of Sergio Llull is worth keeping an eye on. Lull has already established himself as a solid prospect and has played well in FIBA events. A 6-4 guard, Llull’s strong play for Real Madrid has earned the sort of contract that the Rockets were not ready to offer until he is ready for a significant role, but he should make the jump in a year or two making him someone worth watching, if the Rockets continue to keep his rights.

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