Fans got a preview of what’s to come with the NBA Summer League beginning yesterday, featuring promising performances from Sam Dekker and other Rockets.
The Houston Rockets lost to the Atlanta Hawks 83-78, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t things to be happy about from many players’ first NBA showing. Defense is still a concern, and it what ultimately lost the game for Houston, but several players gave fans something to be excited about.
Sam Dekker looked versatile and healthy, scoring 18 points while shooting 6-9 from the floor and 2-4 from the three point line. KJ McDaniels filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. The undrafted rookies looked promising as well, Kyle Wiltjer with 13 points and Gary Payton II with 5 assists at point guard.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report provided a full analysis of the first day of the Summer League, featuring Dekker’s triumphant return. If he can stay healthy, he should be able to provide consistent bench production for Houston under Mike D’Antoni‘s leadership.
Dekker played in only three games during his rookie season, succumbing to a herniated disc that eventually led to surgery.
Now, Dekker is back.
He announced as much throughout his first contest as a sophomore, thriving in nearly every facet of the game as he recorded 18 points, four rebounds and a steal while shooting 6-of-9 from the field and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc in the Rockets’ 83-78 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
Space City Scoop editor Tamberlyn Richardson reported on the Rockets’ defeat, complete with stats, analysis, and a very interesting interview with Dwight Howard, who was appropriately decked out in Hawks gear.
For many Rockets fans it was their first look at Chinanu Onuaku who showed why some bigs in the NBA might want to suck up their ego and try the underhand free throw. Even the NBA TV show the Starters showed it as a highlight since it swished through the net.
Sam Dekker showed off his skills hitting a team hit 18 points showcasing skills both from distance and had a show stopping dunk, but got hurt on the play. I mean can Sam just stay healthy, so he can play extended time this season? Sure would be nice to see what he could do in D’Antoni’s system.
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Grant Hugues of Bleacher Report made it clear that it’s never too early for power rankings, stacking all 30 teams up with consideration given to offseason trades and signings. Not to be too pessimistic, but he was more friendly to the Rockets than I would have been.
The Rockets won 41 games with a fractured team, a coaching change and an effort level that ranged from inconsistent to nonexistent. Isn’t it fair to see the potential for a much better future here?
If D’Antoni gets buy-in effort from James Harden and this group somehow avoids being one of the absolute worst defenses in the league, there’s a chance we see a version of the Rockets that looks much more like the conference finalists of 2015 than the first-round washout of last year.
The NBA Summer League continues for Houston tomorrow evening at 6:30 when the team tips off against the Sacramento Kings. Stay tuned to Space City Scoop for analysis and updates.
Send our Editor any Rockets-related article/video/tweet/gram/vine that we may have missed via Twitter direct message to @TTOTambz.
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