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Examining Houston Rockets Sam Dekker Summer League Performance

Oct 7, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Sam Dekker (7) warms up before playing the Dallas Mavericks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Sam Dekker (7) warms up before playing the Dallas Mavericks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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A season marred by injury and surgery kept Sam Dekker off the court. For most fans his appearance in the NBA Summer League offers insight on the Houston Rockets small forwards potential.

Houston Rockets’ small forward Sam Dekker had a rough season last year to say the least. The Wisconsin product played in only 3 games and a total of 6 minutes in the NBA so far. What’s worst is that in those 3 games he didn’t even register a single field goal.

After a year riddled with injuries that cost Dekker his rookie season there were a lot of expectations for the small forward to perform in this year’s edition of the Summer League in order to earn a spot in this years’ final roster.

And with the Rockets now loaded with shooters and new players ready to adapt to Mike D’Antoni’s free flowing offensive style of basketball, there’s hope that Dekker could at least contribute being a steady scorer off the bench and logging solid minutes for the Texan team.

Averages:

27.4 MPG, 14.4 Points Per Game, 5.6 Rebounds Per Game, 2.4 Assists Per Game, 53.8% Field Goal Percent

General Highlights:

One must be  cautious drawing  conclusions from Summer League performances but what drew attention on Dekker in Vegas was not exactly his averages but the way he behaved on court.

Dekker was much more confident dribbling and handling the basket, shooting the ball, driving and attacking the rim finishing with power, and generally looked much more comfortable leading the young Rockets team.

Improvements:

The first thing we’ve noticed from the get-go is how Sam Dekker is actually great finishing with power on the fast break. He works great angles and drives using his quickness and height advantage with some pretty impressive ball handling skills. Take a look below on two of the plays that highlights exactly that:

Sam Dekker throwing it down! pic.twitter.com/90VUhiyy6d

— André Luiz (@dededeco) July 23, 2016

First we have Dekker finishing with force on the fast break.

pic.twitter.com/yldRQGwD3g

— André Luiz (@dededeco) July 23, 2016

Then in this play Dekker cuts to the basket drives and finishes easily with the layup.

That was not all as his three-point shots were very effective during the Summer League as well. And as far as the defensive side goes, Dekker, as a 6’9” small forward proved to be a decent rebounder and shot blocker mostly due to his enormous reach.

What Needs Work:

Dekker’s free-throw shooting is still weak and needs vast improvements. Dekker shot 50% from the charity stripe (7-for-14 on 5 games) which is not an  acceptable percentage for a small forward. Therefore going forward that’s probably the area where the Wisconsin product needs to focus his efforts on getting better.

Finally he still looks clumsy on one-on-one defensive situations and sometimes takes a lot of time to get back and recompose on defense.

pic.twitter.com/KQs8orI93D

— André Luiz (@dededeco) July 23, 2016

If Sam Dekker can solve those minor issues then the small forward can definitely become a nice option coming off the bench this season whenever the Rockets are looking for more firepower from beyond the arc.

However, Dekker is still very young and for all iintensive purposes after so many injuries this will actually be his real rookie season so expectations must be managed and fireworks are not expected at least for now.

SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely check the NBA Free Agency Tracker (updated daily)

Next: NBA Free Agency Tracker

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