The wait is over: Donatas Motiejunas made his return Saturday night in the loss to the Spurs. He was the first person to check into the game, relieving Josh Smith, Motiejunas was able to play a shade under nine minutes, he scored two points and collected a rebound and an assist. Motiejunas didn't shock the world in his debut, but he did show he was back.
"I didn't play, didn't practice for the last 2-3 days 'cause the trade and everything, other than that I feel good," Motiejunas told The Dream Shake after his first Rockets appearance since New Years Eve.
When Motiejunas came back from his surgery the first time this season, the Rockets put him in the lineup rather then working him back slowly. He averaged 13.5 minutes per game, scoring 5.9 points with 2.3 rebounds with a .572 true shooting percantage. This time, around he might be a little better since he spent some time in the D-Leagueworking himself back.
"My back feels, right now, great," D-Mo said.
Not sure what the Pistons didn't like about Motiejunas' back, but now he is with the Rockets. Hopefully, by the end of the season, he will get back to the guy he was last season, in the starting lineup and playing 30 minutes a game.
If the slick and cool behind the back pass — it didn't work, but was cool to see — is any indicator that he is getting closer. Maybe by the end of next month (barring setbacks), we could see a guy that is a lot closer to the guy from last than at any other point this season.