Maybe the Houston Rockets will hold off on the Omer Asik trade talks for a while, just maybe. In Monday night’s 93-86 comeback win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Asik played the entire 4th quarter, while Dwight Howard sat on the bench.
Nov 25, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Nick Calathes (12) pass the ball while Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) and Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks (0) guard him during the second quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Asik’s defense in the low post helped spark a rally in which the Rockets were down by as many as 9 points early in the 4th quarter. He recorded 10 rebounds in 21 minutes, and held Zach Randolph to just 2 points in the 4th quarter.
There could have been a multitude of reasons why coach Kevin McHale left Asik in the game, but he never really specified why. It could have been a way of avoiding the Hack-A-Howard, or it could have been a way to reward the players who helped the Rockets fight all the way back to take the lead.
After the game, Asik stated that he wasn’t surprised that he stayed in the game:
“I don’t think about that. I just play whenever I get minutes. I just try to play hard. After I came to the West, we played against them six times. I know how he(Zach Randolph) plays. I just tried to stop that. That’s it.”
It’s way too early to try to comprehend what the outlook of Asik’s role is on this team after just this one instance, but it definitely showed that Asik can still be a valuable member for the Rockets, even if he’s just a backup to Howard.