Zhou Qi and Troy Williams steal the headlines in the Houston Rockets first Summer League game.
The Houston Rockets defeated the Denver Nuggets 102-99 to kick off their Summer League season. There were two players in particular who stood out in the win.
Zhou Chi has NBA talent.
He scored 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in his Summer League debut, and appeared to fit in perfectly with the style of play. Rookies often times struggle in their first few games as they adjust to the increased speed of the NBA game, but Chi looked right at home.
Chi is a 7’1″ power forward with an insanely long 7’8″ wingspan. He maneuvers around the floor very well for a man of his size and he can step out and make the three point shot with confidence.
When you watch Zhou Chi play, he reminds one of Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis. Both players excel in pick-and-pop situations and possess a shooting touch that is uncommon among seven-footers.
Chi also showed off his ability to put the ball on the floor from the perimeter and convert at the rim. Again, that is such a rare ability for a player of his size. Porzingis may have to share his “Unicorn” moniker with Chi, because he showcased a lot of potential in his debut.
A goal for Zhou Chi in the offseason should be to add a little weight. At 7’1″, Chi weighs only 210 pounds. Such a small frame will allow opposing big men to out maneuver him for position in the post and in box-out situations.
Troy Williams is the most experienced player on the Rockets summer league team, and he looked the part Friday night. He scored a game high 29 points, and he made four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.
Williams scored from all over the floor. He made spot-up threes, finished layups in transition and he even chipped in nine points from the free-throw line.
His high energy and presence was felt on the defensive end as well, he played aggressive on-ball defense and came away with two steals. He said in an interview after the game that his goal is to establish himself on the defensive end of the floor and let his offense come, via NBA.com.
“I’ve always got to be aggressive. My mentality is not to come out on offense and do that. My mentality is to (be aggressive) on defense first and let the offense come.”
After playing in the NBA for one season in Houston and Memphis, Williams wants to become a key rotational piece for a team, via Jonathan Feigen of The Chron.
“Last year was my first year in the NBA. I’m just taking it one day at a time, but it’s a little more serious. I got my foot into the door. Now, I just have to stay here.
Williams isn’t going to score 29 points every night in the NBA, but if he brings the energy and intensity from Friday night into the NBA season, he should have a spot on the Rockets roster.