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Rockets take on Pistons in top-two draft pick battle

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The Houston Rockets face the Detroit Pistons in Summer League action Tuesday night.

2021 NBA Draft Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Houston Rockets (1-0) vs. Detroit Pistons (0-1), August 10, 2021 @ 8:00pm CST

Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas,

TV: ESPN

Pistons SBNation Blog: Detroit Bad Boys


In the previous outing, the Houston Rockets were able to get their first win in Summer League. They blew past the Cleveland Cavilers 84-74 with Jalen Green as their leading scorer. He managed to marvel the arena with 23 points while shooting 44 percent from three. Green had incredible step-backs, drive byes, and great defensive awareness that the spectators enjoyed. He proved why he was selected over Evan Mobley.

Josh Christopher did have slow start, but eventually came along towards the end with 13 points. He showed his midrange abilities by shooting off the dribble. Christopher flourished off fancied ball handling and good shot making, which he did at Arizona State. He caused a ton of turnovers with active hands and moving his feet on opposing players. The good thing is that Christopher understand how to play with the bumps and bruises, and can still manage to have a good game.

Alphen Sengun became incredible throughout his first game. He had an incredible knack of getting to the free throw line because he created contact numerous times. Another thing done well by Sengun was being able to find open teammates from wherever on the court. Sengun even managed to collect 15 rebounds with 15 points, which is a double-double in the NBA world. He marveled the Rockets’ coaching staff by playing great defense, as Sengun had four blocks. Segun gave huge portion of his basketball IQ, as he showed his rolling ability off pick-and-roll.

The Rockets could possibly see Usman Garuba (though not tonight), as he recently had his buyout with Real Madrid of the Euro League.

The Rockets will be adding 2015 first round pick and NBA veteran Justin Anderson to the roster. He is available for the team tonight.

Improvements before going against the Detroit Pistons (key notes)

  • Green must become more fluent with his pick-and-roll reads, as Troy Weaver had a ton of off ball screens for him. He did play a portion off pick-and roll with KJ Martin and looked great couple of times. But looked hesitant at times when it came to his reads at the top of the key.
  • Sengun must become a stronger finisher around the rim, as he’ll see 243lb Luka Garza next. He missed a decent amount of attempts near the rim after great footwork, positioning, and pump fakes.
  • KJ Martin must read the pick-and-roll better, as he let a open lob to Mobley happen. He has to play the guard and center at the same time.
  • Christopher cannot play hesitant on offense because it allows him to analyze the situation too hard on the court. He must believe in his scoring abilities.
  • Matthew Hurt must become aggressive and a better rebounder for the Rockets, as the former Blue Devil is playing for a spot on the roster.

Hopefully, the Rockets get another win as they face the number one pick Cade Cunningham. This is Green’s night to prove that he is better than Cunningham.