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.”