Eurobasket 2013: Houston Rockets Donatas Motiejunas Not Getting Much Run with Lithuania
The Houston Rockets are unquestionably going to be one of the most talented and exciting teams in the 2013-2014 NBA season. With Dwight Howard coming to town to join James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons, there’s no doubt this is a team to keep an eye on in the Western Conference.
However, even the most talented and exciting teams still sometimes have question marks and the Rockets are no exception to that. Arguably the biggest question that people have about the Rockets heading into their first season with Howard is what the team is going to do at the power forward position.
There has been talk of either Howard or Omer Asik seeing time at the four, but the more likely option seems to be that Houston will look to give either Terrence Jones, Greg Smith or Donatas Motiejunas more run at the power forward than any of those young players have seen before in their career. Motiejunas might be the most interesting of those three players.
A legitimate seven-footer, Motiejunas brings a unique combination of size and skill to the power forward position. In the 44 games that he played last season in Houston, he showed flashes of real potential as he averaged 5.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game on 45.5 percent shooting. Motiejunas showed a lack of consistency and showed he needed to improve on the glass and defensively.
Though Eurobasket 2013, as Motiejunas is playing for Lithuania, would be a great place for the 22-year-old to get some run and grow, that hasn’t exactly happened. Through five games he has averaged only 10 minutes per game, though he has been efficient and relatively productive when he’s been on the floor. In the two games where he’s seen solid minutes, he’s also looked quite good.
If Motiejunas is to win the starting power forward job with Houston, he’s going to have to show the team a lot at training camp and the preseason. A solid outing at Eurobasket could have given him a boost in the Rockets’ graces, but he hasn’t had much of a chance to do so. Unless that changes, Houston is going to have to wait to see how Motiejunas has grown as a player this off-season.
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