This video via Clutchfans. To start, regarding Matt Bullard’s comment, while I’m sure Motiejunas has been practicing, this move isn’t indicative of anything in that regard – he had this kind of stuff already in his repertoire before the Rockets drafted him. Offensive skill was his strength. What kept Motiejunas abroad, and has kept him off the court thus far isn’t offense, but rather, his lack of rebounding and defense.
Watching the play, you can understand my assertion months back that Motiejunas has easily been the most talented post player on the team since the start of camp. Just look at the fluidity of the move and contrast against the robotic, rigid motions of Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik. This, combined with his 3 point touch, and Motiejunas already has the skillset to help this team.
As already alluded to, Motiejunas’ problem is rebounding and defense. He has a REB% of 8.1%. For context, the unanimously disparaged Patrick Patterson has a REB% of 10.5, and against starting competition.
How about Motiejunas’ defense? The Houston Rockets as a team have a Defrtg of 104.4. When Motiejunas is on the court, that falls to 101.2. That doesn’t really tell us much because Defrtg is inclusive of and not accountable for many other variables such as opponents and teammates. For a closer look, I logged into the Synergy database to check out how D-Mo fares individually in different circumstances. Unfortunately, the site isn’t working…
I’ll check back on that later and in the meantime, use the eye test to judge the rookie forward as he’s finally getting minutes.