NBA Summer League: Houston Rockets fall to the Washington Wizards 76-70
By Kyle Adams
Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards came to play. The Rockets showed up to the party a little to late. After struggling the first half and most of the third quarter, the Rockets made a comeback. After being down by more than 20 they got within just a few points, but it was all to late.
Donatas Motiejunas couldn’t back up his talk from the first Summer League game where he scored 25 points and had 9 rebounds while showing off all of his arsenal. He was a no show against Washington and looked very weak on both sides of the floor in the painted area. He scored only 1 point on 5 attempts and 4 rebounds in 22 minutes. If D-Mo wants to run with the big guys in the NBA he needs to go up stronger on the offensive end and not get pushed around. Motiejunas has a lot of work to do in the weight room. The skill set is there, he just lack the strength needed to bang with the big boys.
Royce White was very unimpressive once again. Only scoring 4 points and 1 rebound in 22 minutes. It’s been said that he is ill, but there are no excuses. He played like he didn’t belong in this league for the second straight game. He loooked disinterested and lazy. I’m not sure if it’s his anxiety disorder or what, but if he wants a spot in the rotation he better turn it around in the next three games.
Jeremy Lamb was attacking the entire game. He was getting whatever he wanted offensively. Free throws, behind the arc, stop and pop, driving to the basket, you name it. The more i watch this kid the more i love his game. If he keeps this up he will get major minutes in the Rockets rotation next season.
Terrence Jones also impressed me once again. When he was drafted some people called him a steal. To be honest, i didn’t like his game and didn’t see where he fit with the team. But after the first two games of the Summer League he looks like a rotation guy, splitting time at both forward spots. He’s long, can run the floor, a ball stopper and a decent scorer. This kid is making me eat my words and i’m liking every second of it. I apologize for underestimating the kids talent. Hopefully he can keep this play up.
Other guys i was impressed with were Marcus Morris and Zoran Dragic. Marcus had a nice 1st half of the game, but in the third quarter he had to leave the game to get stitches above his eye after taking a hard foul at the rim and never returned. Morris is a kid who needs to step up big in the Summer League to earn a roster spot in the stacked forward position, and him sitting the bench isn’t helping. I love the way Zoran plays. He hustle’s the entire time he is on the floor and will go after every loose ball. He only scored 4 points, but he made his presence felt helping teammates get easy baskets and being a ball stopper on the defensive end.
Courtney Fortson is not the answer at point guard even as a backup at this point. He has been a non factor on the offensive end and gets beat every play down defensively even with his speed. He’s a scoring point guard, but barely scores. Machado hasn’t shocked the world either, but i think he should continue to get more of Fortson’s minutes. I would like to even see him start the next game. Machado is a much better playmaker than Fortson, but so far that’s not saying much. He needs to step it up if he wants to stay a Rocket. Ish Smith is also on the Summer League squad. I like his game and expect him to see some playing time due to the poor Houston point guard play.