Motiejunas Has Eye-Opening Debut

By Drew Packham, NBA.com



LAS VEGAS — Rockets rookie Donatas Motiejunas was happy, but not satisfied, with his eye-opening Summer League debut.

Houston’s 7-foot big man scored 25 points, grabbed nine rebounds and showed he’s not only a big man who can run the floor, but one that can knock down the outside shot as well. Motiejunas hit both 3-pointers he took and showed no hesitation showing off his smooth lefty stroke.

“If people don’t know, I will show them what I can do,” Motiejunas said. “I’ve been doing it in Euroleague, so it’s nothing new.”

Along with the range, the 21-year-old ran the floor hard, showing athleticism and aggressiveness, which the coaches love, but want him to rein in.

“He needs to become efficient,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said of the rookie, who was 11-for-13 from the floor. “A lot of times these young guys mistake activity for achievement. Sometimes you can get a little bit out of control, a little bit wild, but that’s all part of the growing process. You don’t have to worry about him — he’ll go hard.”

Motiejunas says he wasn’t as prepared for Summer League as he would have liked — due to a sprained ankle and sore back — but that wasn’t going to slow him down.

“You have to be aggressive,” Motiejunas said. “That’s basketball. Every game is the same. Euroleague. It’s the same war. If you come into the game and think ‘I’m good, I was drafted,’ they’re gonna kick my a–. That’s why I go hard every game.”

9 Comments

  1. Sunniv says:

    I have always been a huge Houston fan, but amnesty for Luis Scola? What are you thinking? He is one of the hardest working, most consistent forwards in the NBA (I didn’t say one of the “best” but sometimes the “best” are not all that hard-working or consistent!) and this is the 2nd time he’s been screwed over. I’d take 5 “Luis Scola’s” over 5 “Andrew Bynum/Dwight Howard’s/” any day!! No NBA team needs a “diva” on their roster – someone who sits on the bench and pouts, projecting an “anti-team” attitude, has a problem controlling his behavior, and never plays like he loves the game – no matter what his stats say; or someone who thinks that because of his stats, he can go wherever he wants, change his mind as often as he wants, and have temper tantrums, but everyone will still want him on their team (despite major surgery that undoubtedly will change the way he plays)! Why would you try to work every deal in the book to get a player who doesn’t want to play on your team? Didn’t Dallas just learn that the hard way? With the addition of these Rookies, and other trades that have already been made, I believe Houston can go far – I trust McHale’s coaching ability. Besides, look what Miami did without a 7′ center – it can work IF you have the right pieces, the right system, and good coaching!

  2. marley says:

    wow some stupid moves from rockets , they had two good point guards in lowry and dragic and at the end when knicks match the offer they will have none pg and all of that because of dwight , idiots they should’ve take scola , and camby and dragic and sign and trade lowry for some decent center , now they are at the beginning again

  3. DREAM68 says:

    I’m stir crazy over this trade, Dwight Howard is not worth gutting the team which HOUSTON already did. But, they hold trump cards as well since nobody in the league can offer what H-town can, NOBODY.. With the draft picks, young players with rookie contracts , and four new bodies coming in, NO team in the league can match what the ROCKETS offer without needing another team or two to make the trades work.. Morey, please slow down. You still got two offer sheets in the air, (Lin & Asek) that may get re-signed by their teams, plus you got this other big Motiejunas, who just came over.

    I’m a huge ROCKET FAN, but this team might end up looking like a D-League squad real fast unless Morey starts
    pulling rabbits outta his hat. MIT makes you great with numbers, H-Town is in a good position there, but look at all the
    possibililties. I just hope its more like D. Aldridge is reporting HOUSTON will only go about one guy across the board and the draft picks they’ll give… SMH its like WWWOWWW.

    NO Sampson, no Hakeem, no Yao, still on hold for Dwight DRAMA, but it’s not bad to DREAM of the good old days

  4. chris elder says:

    the rockets would be crazy to let there whole team go for someone who doesn’t want to sign with them take bynum and forget howard and if they do trade for howard than mory should be fired

  5. Houston is on the right track– they are following the OKC model — MontieJunas should be on their roster this 2013 or else other teams would get him

  6. Hanging Scola out to dry for what? Howard has not got enough character or creative basketball talent to walk in the shadow of Louis Scola. I am not a casual fan, and I think the Rockets are throwing out there best for nothing. It’s going to be a long time before the bad taste of what they did to Scola and the rest of the team settles with me. Scola is a winner, sadly Howard shows little inclination toward caring.

  7. FAIR-BUT-TOUGH says:

    Donatas Motiejunas is bound to become a stud especially under coach McHale. I just don’t understand why on earth this Rockets team want to trade away a third of their roster for a man that’s highly unlikely to resign with them(Howard).
    The best trade for the Rockets would be the 3 way deal that includes the Lakers in which would land them Andrew Bynum rather than Dwight Howard. I believe that way the Rockets wouldn’t have to give away as much and also would have a younger 7 footer who would much more likely sign an extension moving forward. Howard is in no mood to go to a team that would be in a rebuilding stage as his mindset is “win now” but Bynum who has already 2 championships at age 24 would love to seize the moment to become a go to guy.

    I suggest the Rockets should trade anybody on their roster to get Bynum but make Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Morris and Jeremy Lamb untouchable! Rockets still have Toronto’s first round pick for next year, Chandler Parsons,Kevin Martin, Terrence Jones and a possible sign and trade with Courtney Lee. They could use that or any of those players to land Bynum.

    Imagine a nucleus of Drew Bynum at the center, Donatas Motiejunas at power forward, Marcus Morris at small forward, Jeremy Lamb at shooting guard and Jeremy Lin at the point guard.. Now that’s a possible dangerous combo

    • two says:

      Jeremy Lin is staying with the knicks though, so where is the point guard?

    • Chris Garza says:

      I’m cool with everything you said except Marcus Morris being untouchable. I agree, he deserves a chance to play this year, but Chandler Parsons is the starting SF and, I think, a part of this team moving forward.