Rockets vs Cavaliers Stud #1: Alperen Sengun
The lone bright spot for the Rockets Wednesday night was Alperen Sengun. The rookie sensation played a career-high 27:34 minutes and rewarded the Rockets with a career-high in points and rebounds.
Sengun’s 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assist night was simply a continuation of everything he has shown this season. He attacked the rim with frequency, used his advanced array of post moves to generate good looks, and made his usual highlight reel passes.
When Sengun was the focal point on offense the Rockets looked much improved. When a player is as gifted a passer as he is, everyone starts making better decisions off-ball. Here is an excellent cut from Josh Christopher that Sengun rewards with a threaded bounce pass.
On defense, Sengun looked out of sorts at times, but he made up for it with active hands. He nabbed two steals and blocked one shot. His all-around excellent wasn’t able to make up for the rest of the roster’s incompetence.
The final positive note on Sengun has to do with the one thing that has been holding him back all season. Sengun only committed one foul. While that may not seem like an accomplishment, for Sengun it’s an incredible performance.
Sengun has been averaging 5.9 fouls per 36 minutes. Rockets fans have bemoaned his lack of minutes, but his penchant for picking up fouls explains the coaching staff’s reluctance to insert him into the starting lineup.
If Sengun can string together a few more performances where he keeps the fouls in check, then we can start to expect his minutes and role to grow. Sengun was a stud against the Cavaliers, just like he has been all season.