Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
The Houston Rockets have played their first five preseason games and there has been a lot to take away from them. Houston won its first two games and looked impressive in both victories, but their youth showed in back-to-back losses against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. They did, however, bounced back against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night.
During that five game span, there have been three players, in my opinion, who have stood out so far:
Omer Asik has been proving that he is worth every penny he signed for this past offseason. The Turkish center has dominated on the defensive end and has knocked off some of the criticism about his offensive game. He has managed to average about eight points, eleven rebounds, and about a block per game this preseason. And considering he’s only playing about twenty-four minutes, that’s quite impressive. With further grooming from Coach Kevin McHale, Asik will grow into one of the leagues finest centers.
Kevin Martin is back! Martin has been fantastic for the Rockets this preseason. Through four games he is averaging eighteen points per contest (Martin sat out the game against San Antonio). And like Omer, he is only playing just under twenty-four minutes per contest. Captain Efficiency, as some may call him, has been shooting an outstanding 60% from the field. If Martin can keep that up with added minutes than expect him to be representing the Rockets during the All-Star game, which happens to be in Houston this year.
Scott Machado is certainly making every GM wonder how he went undrafted. Machado, who led the nation in assists last year with Iona, has been distributing the ball beautifully. Against the Spurs, he led the Rockets in assists with eleven. Unfortunately, he will more than likely be sent to the D-League where he will grow. He won’t impact the Rockets much this season, but he is definitely a player to watch for.