Yesterday Asik visited his new home in Houston as a member of the Rockets. Houston finally gets a legit 7ft big man that is a ball stopper on defense. He knows his post game is virtually nonexistent, but he stated that will be his main focus, to improve his offensive game by working with Kevin McHale.
“I know it looks like the offense is the missing part of my game now, but I believe in myself I can improve that,” Asik said. “I am working hard every day. In Chicago, I didn’t show too much because I was playing very nervous. I just did what they asked me. I’m sure I can improve that.”
“I am very happy I will be with Kevin McHale, a legendary post player. I think I will learn a lot from him and will get better.”
Asik has to not only work on his offensive game, he has to prove he can stay on the court as the new starting center.
“This is a big opportunity for me,” Asik said. “It will be a little different for me. I didn’t start much there, but I think I will be working very hard and try to adapt quickly.”
“Here, I think he’ll have a chance to flourish,” Hinkie said. “In that (bench) role, he was outstanding both years. Often, as we have seen here, the adjustment for an international player as a rookie is quite challenging as they make the transition in. He was outstanding as a rookie, and he took big strides throughout this year.”
The main reason the Rockets went after Asik is because of his top-notch defense. He is already a top defender in this league, i think he has the potential to take his defense to another level, maybe even defensive player of the year status. He’s also a great rebounder, averaging just over 5 boards a game in just 14 minutes.
“We believe … 7-footers like Omer are in short supply,” Hinkie said. “He’s an outstanding help defender. He’s a rim protector. He rebounds on both ends of the floor. He’s proven this throughout his career, at every stop on team after team, first as a professional in Europe, for his national team in Turkey and then most recently for the last few seasons in the NBA in Chicago.
“Young centers in our league that have proven they can impact an NBA game are scarce. Really, really scarce.”
“He’s an outstanding rebounder at both ends. He’s a natural help defender that when penetrators try to get to the rim, he’s there waiting on them. That’s a big, big deal, and not so many guys around the league can do it at the level he’s done.”
Asik has much to prove with his new team in Houston. Is he the next Yao Ming or Hakeem Olajuwon? Not at all. But i think he can definitely be a legitimate starting center in this league. if he can improve his offensive game, the sky is the limit for Omer Asik.
Omer Asik Press Conference: http://youtu.be/ejbMKRXupkU