[Editor's Note: Nice recap here, so let's front page it. I'll offer a sentence or two of thoughts after the ones you've already seen. -- Tom]
Today the Houston Rockets, minus Kevin Martin and Patrick Patterson, faced the Toronto Raptors Summer League Team that did not include Jonas Valanciunas, who is preparing the Olympics with the Lithuanian National Team (from what I understand Donatas isn't going because he got in some kind of a feud with the coach). The Rockets started 4PF in a Fortson-Morris-Parsons-White-Motiejunas lineup.
The game was basically a back and forth game for three quarters until a more talented Houston team made a run in the final quarter to take down a 93-81 win.
So there's this thing called the jump, follow me after it to get a player-by-player analysis.
- Donatas Motiejunas 25pts(11-13)-9Reb-2Ast-2Stl-2Blk: The big story of the game is, of course, Donatas Motiejunas, the Lithuanian PF showed a full repertoire in offense, scoring anything: Dunks, hooks, 3pts, anything except for those 1pt shoot you're supposed to shot on a line with nobody guarding you. Donuts actually missed more FT (4) than field goals (2). Chandler Parsons knows that feeling. D-Mo showed some good defensive dedication, finishing the game with two steals and a block. He also showed some good trash-talking ability but the cherry on top of the cake is his rebounding effort: With nine rebonds, he was the leading rebounder on the game, tied with Terrence Jones.
However it's important to keep in mind it's only a Summer League game, he has yet to actually show anything in the "real" NBA, don't get overexcited.
From Tom: Loved Donuts' feel for the game around the basket. He'll have to bulk up and start making his free throws, but there's a lot to like. We'll see how he translates defensively over time, but you know he can score.
- Terrence Jones 17pts(4-11)-9Reb-1Ast-1Blk: The former Wildcat impressed me with his toughness tonight, he attacked the basket really well, getting a lot of fouls (8-8 on FT) and pulled down a lot of rebounds. Terrence also defended pretty well, his downside may be his shooting that seemed a little off, but nothing to really worry yet.
From Tom: My favorite player on the night, to be honest. Jones did a little of everything and really showed how aggressive and useful he can be when he isn't playing for John Calipari. Great touch inside ten feet, too. I still see him as a small forward, but time will tell.
- Chandler Parsons 16pts(6-11)-5Reb-4Ast-1Stl in 25 minutes : Chandler showed what you would expect from him: Smart plays both on offense and defense, he did not miss a FT (going 3-3) which is a good thing and I thought his shots looked better overall. But most importantly, Chandler gained a new nickname tonight: The Mad Chicken, and that's coming from Kevin McHale himself.
From Tom: Chandler looked like a seasoned pro after the first five minutes. His handles look to be improved and he looks much stronger. That's going to help him once he starts becoming more aggressive on the drive. I don't know if The Mad Chicken should stick. No, definitely not.
- Jeremy Lamb 16pts(6-11)-2Reb-2Ast-1Stl-1Blk in 26 minutes: Lamb showed some nice offensive skills today, I'm not sure I can say much more about him, but he definitely upgraded his value.
From Tom: Lamb showed off exactly what we knew about him: He can score from anywhere, he's always ready to shoot it when he catches it, and most importantly, he knows exactly what his strengths and weaknesses are. That's what separates Lamb and Marcus Morris right now: Lamb is much more comfortable and knowledgable of his own game.
- Scott Machado 2pts(1-6)-2Reb-5Ast-1Stl-1Blk in 19 minutes : Scott didn't show much for the three first quarters, not making assists, forcing his shots and turning the ball way too often but in the last quarter he came back strong, provoking turnovers from Toronto, leading the way on the run and finding the open man. He was really the key to Houston's last quarter run.
From Tom: Scott looked pretty rough to start but he eventually found a groove. Give him time, he could certainly make the team if Lil Wayne keeps losing his shit.
The downs :
- Royce White 6pts(2-6)-3Reb-2Ast-1Stl-1Blck in 17 minutes: Royce showed some pretty nice skills in this game, including that fact he can play point forward. But he got outperformed by the other forwards on the team -- he needs to become more consistent on both ends of the court.
From Tom: Royce is going to be a work in progress simply because his strengths shine only when he's really in tune with the players around him. He has played with these Rockets for what, a week and a half? Give him time to settle in, but if you want to criticize him for now, really look at how he rebounds, finishes and defends inside.
- Courtney Fortson 3pts(1-7)-3Reb-1Ast-1Stl in 21 minutes: Really disappointed about Lil' Wayne's game, he didn't show anything while having a lot of playing time. The Rockets made their best quarter while he was off the court, that says it all. I expect Scott Machado to start the next game.
From Tom: Mr. Carter lost a few of his marbles this game and kept forcing the ball at weird times. But that's the type of player he is: He's aggressive and doesn't slow down. We'll see if that mentality translates better against a different opponent.
- Marcus Morris 6pts(3-7)-4Reb-2Ast in 28 minutes: In the first half, Marcus was horrible, missing everything he tried, but in the second half, the former Jayhawks actually showed some pretty nice things, hustling a lot on both ends of the floor. Still, he's far from being the propsect we expected him to be and his Twitter bashing after the game did show he's starting to loose patience. He's not the only one.
From Tom: I'm cool with Marcus going to Twitter and whatnot. But he certainly needs to continue to mature as a small forward and learn how best to use his talents. He's got plenty of tools, he really does. But he needs to figure out when to push certain buttons and when not to.
- Greg Smith 2pts(1-1)-2Reb-2Ast in 13 minutes : If Greg showed that he's still a good defender, he didn't show a lot of progress on the offensive part of his game.
From Tom: Greg smash.
For tomorrow, I expect the starting lineup to change in order to include Scott Machado and Jeremy Lamb over Fortson and Morris and maybe Terrence Jones over White. I also expect to see some playing time from Leuer, Harris and Zoran Dragic, maybe giving The Mad Chicken a day off.
Bonus : Donatas Motiejunas at 17, looking like a nice lady
From Tom: Yes.