It’s hard to say if Donatas Motiejunas of the Houston Rockets is ready for the playoffs.
The Rockets certainly hope he is.They’re going to need him.
Montiejunas has had a so-so regular season with 5.8 points and 1.9 rebounds a game in his rookie season. He has probably accomplished more than some thought possible. However, the Rockets have fought their way into a likely playoff spot and Montiejunas is going to have to contribute to his team in various ways.
He’s seen action with the team in 37 games and has started 14 times. He’s given the team 12.3 minutes and that’s a figure that needs to go up, which it has in recent games. He’s shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, which is encouraging, and is averaging less than a turnover a game. The Rockets can trust him to handle the ball, which will be critical in the playoffs.
Motiejunas has been impressive in two of the Blazers’ last three games, which will give coach Kevin McHale something to build upon for the playoffs. In a 111-103 NBA victory over the Orlando Magic, his minutes bolted up to 34 for the game. He was 4-of-11 from the floor for 11 points, had three assists and made two steals, plus one block. Last week in a 103-94 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Motiejunas was in the game for 22 minutes and was 7-of-11 from the floor, 2-of-3 from the 3-point arc for 16 points and had two blocks.
Those two games should serve notice that Motiejunas is ready and willing to help the Rockets have success in key upcoming games.