During our Houston Rockets round table, I predicated that rookie Sam Dekker will spend most of his season playing in the NBA’s D-League, and did not expect much for him. However, after watching him play some valuable minutes this preseason I am starting to have a change of heart about Dekker.
In his NBA debut, Dekker scored three points and shot 1-5 from the field in the Rockets 92-89 lost to the Memphis Grizzlies. Of course, I was not expecting him to have a historical debut like LeBron James in 2003. On the other hand Dekker is now playing with the confidence Trevor Ariza commented on during training camp.
In just six games, Dekker is averaging 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 23 minutes. While his numbers are not as impressive in his first six games, Dekker has shown flashes of why he was named to the All-Big Ten Second-team twice during his collegian career in Wisconsin.
In the Rockets 109-82 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, in 28 minutes Dekker scored 12 points, while shooting 50 percent from the field. Not only did he show his ability to shoot, but after catching a lob from second year guard K.J. McDaniels, Dekker proved he can make some phenomenal plays in transition.
Coming off the bench with McDaniels and Montrezl Harrell will give Houston some young and athletic players to watch this season. Just checkout this fast break alley-oop from Denzel Livingston in the loss against the Orlando Magic.
As the Rockets get closer to the start of the regular season Dekker can develop into a solid player in Houston. For Rockets fans who are not familiar with Sam Dekker, check out this 2015-16 Player profile where he is compared to Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward. Fans will discover once Dekker gets accustomed to the NBA he will become a valuable asset on the defensive end as much as the offensive end.
While Dekker is shooting 41 percent from the field this preseason, his 3-point percentage has not been great to start his pro career. At the moment, Dekker has only shot 25 percent from behind the arc.
Far from the 41 percent he shot during the NCAA tournament last season. However, do not underestimate his shooting ability as it’s obvious that once Dekker adapts to pulling 22 feet from downtown he will become one of Houston’s hottest shooters.
As the season progresses, eventually Houston will see the Sam Dekker that helped the Badgers reach the NCAA championship last season, and not one that will go back-and-forth to the D-League.
If so, Dekker will represent Houston well in this year’s rookie class, and if we are lucky he will be a great addition to this season’s Rookie-Sophomore Game during All-Star weekend.
Please feel free to add your thoughts and opinions in our comments section. Do you think Sam Dekker becomes a pivotal contributor for the Rockets this season.
Also remember to check out our Player Profiles and Round Table Sessions as we gear up for the regular season tip-off.
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