Following a season where K.J. McDaniels highlight was fouling Andre Drummond 5 times in 9 seconds he’s ready to make a statement this season.
It’s only half time in the Houston Rockets first preseason game, but K.J. McDaniels is staking a claim for why he should be getting regular minutes in the rotation.
Not once, not twice, not three times, but on four possessions McDaniels leaked in from the sideline in a cut to the basket to shake his opponent. Each time he was left wide open to receive a lob pass. James Harden, Pablo Prigioni and Patrick Beverley all earned easy assists on the heads up play from McDaniels.
McDaniels bring energy to the court along with solid defensive instincts as his plus 13 through the first half might suggest. K.J. added a rebound to his 8 points.
— Furkan Aslan (@BeardSanityy) October 3, 2016
Houston’s bench unit was on fire with the unit not missing a shot until 8:55 of the second quarter when Prigioni failed to hit his shot. Notably this is preseason and not an NBA squad, so it’s important to temper our excitement.
That said, for those of us (and there are many) who’ve been dying to see McDaniels get consistent minutes in the rotation this first preseason game offers reasons to be optimistic. Sophomores Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker also got in on the scoring with 3 and 5 points respectively.
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At half time the Rockets extended their lead to 72-45.
Expect the second half to feature more minutes for the youngsters and D’Antoni observing who works well with each other on the court.
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So far the newest additions Tyler Ennis and P.J. Hairston have yet to see any playing time. Perhaps they’ll get some minutes in the second half.