The Rockets are not handling Donatas Motiejunas with kid gloves like I thought they might. Coming off a back injury, eight months of rehab and recovery, mixed with a few setback along the way, I kind of figured that Motiejunas would be playing the game wrapped in bubble wrap with "do not touch," "handle with care," and "fragile," stickers plastered all over.
Of course, they are handling him with care, but I figured Motiejunas would not be playing in back-to-backs for a while. Yet on Wednesday night Motiejunas did just that.
The Rockets are also stair stepping his minutes up a little more at a time. On Dec. 5, Donuts played seconds over six minutes in his first return to action. Dec. 8, in his second game, he neared seven minutes. Dec. 9, a night after playing seven minutes, he played eight and a half.
While eight and half minutes isn't a huge amount, he did it on a back-to-back and it was the first time he played in the second half of a game since returning.
Saturday, the Rockets play at home against the Lakers and we could see an uptick in his minutes. The Rockets seem to be throwing Motiejunas as much as he can handle and so far he has been handling everything well.
Motiejunas, so far, is still a work in progress on offense ,which is to be expected. He is still trying to get back into the flow of NBA games again.
The Rockets should have at least one more practice before Saturday's game, and with that, Motiejunas should be getting closer and closer to being back to the guy he was last year.