Player Previews: Rockets' Turkish tower turning heads

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A look into the Houston Rockets new center from Turkey by way of Chicago. Omer Asik is one of the two "major" acquisitions by the Rockets this summer and could be a mainstay here in Clutch (Choke?) City.

Good morning, Dream Shake patrons. Today we’ll continue our coverage of individual Rockets heading into the season with our shiny new center. Omer Asik is fresh to the Rockets off a contract made possible by the lowest of the low in our society, crafty lawyers! Asik signed a three-year 25 million dollar deal to come play in Houston that Chicago would not match. So, like with any major purchase, let’s take a peek at what we just bought.

Omer Asik stands in at 7’0” tall, known for his defensive prowess, and monster Per-36 stats on that end of the ball. He also has glaring offensive deficiencies. The knock on Asik that I’ve most commonly seen (Reading over on Blog-A-Bull and the collaborative piece done with TDS after the signing) is that Omer’s stamina is a major question mark. Per 36 stats are beautiful but if you can’t go for 36 minutes you shouldn’t be basing any hope on them.

Asik has started two regular season games and has logged about 15 minutes per game in those contests. He started 3 post-season games this last season and played 21 minutes in those contests but let’s face it, lockout shortened season, asterisks, tin foil hats, etc… mitigate against strongly considering these numbers. Extrapolating his stats to nearly 40 minutes a game gives us a picture of a guy who could potentially pull down 12-15 boards per game at about 8 PPG with 2-3 blocks in those contests too. That’s more than DeAndre Jordan whom TDS famously wanted to sign at a near max deal when he was on the market. I can live with that, but again, if Asik can’t stay on the court for 36 minutes I’m not going to hold my breath.

Omer has been impressive from the clips I’ve seen from training camp (If you don’t subscribe to ClutchFans on YouTube you’re missing out. This is one of the few times I’ll plug that site.). Asik has been fluid and showing his defensive prowess. Unfortunately in 3 minute clips I can’t get a good idea as to whether or not he’s leaving it all on the court for 36 minutes with those intermittent timeouts that feel like half an hour.

Stamina concerns aside, the Rockets need to concentrate on center depth. Let this thought sink in. Our depth at center consists of a choice between Donatas Motiejunas and Patrick Patterson. If that’s not enough to induce pants-wetting terror (Or invest in a cross-fit regiment for Mr. Asik) then I don’t know what will. The Rockets traded away Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby this offseason and many Rockets fans were left salivating over the idea of Andre Drummond or at least Meyers Leonard/Tyler Zeller out of the draft.

What we got was Omer Asik and question marks. If anyone can teach Asik the tricks of the trade to improve his main deficiency he coaches the Houston Rockets. More so, centers take time to develop, I don’t pass judgment on them until year three or four and Asik is still not at the threshold of “his game has developed” yet. I’m legitimately hopeful and I see good things for Asik here in Houston. He’s a guy Tom Thibodeau didn’t want to lose and if that doesn’t speak highly enough about him, I don’t know what will.

Prediction: 6 points 12 rebounds 2 blocks per game 4.5 fouls per game

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