Houston Rockets rookie Greg Smith makes his debut

First, if it’s not already, my quick-hit recap for ESPN should be up here by tomorrow morning.  Check it out – just some quick notes on the game.

Forward Greg Smith had four blocks today in his NBA debut.  I’m trying to temper my expectations, but I’m excited – the kid looked pretty good in pre-season.  Smith is a full-grown 6’10 with a solid, solid base.  He’s not like some of these other young bigs that come into the league carrying just skin and bones.

Apart from what you heard above, I spoke to Smith for quite some time off-camera before the game.  He is real eager to finally show what he can do. Kevin McHale raved about his IQ in the presser, saying that Smith had been asking him about some of the plays they had learned in camp and whether they would still be running them.  That to me, in combination with the enthusiasm with which he spoke about the learning experience in the D-League, is what has me excited.  A lot of guys in this league–see Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet–have the raw tools.  Few of them have basketball-IQ to match.  We’re already seeing Patrick Patterson make a huge impact just based on his court-smarts, even without any standout physical gifts.  Smith has both.  Let’s see what he can do.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

in multimedia
  • SirThursday

    I really liked his enthusiasm in that interview. Seems very happy to talk about his experiences. I wonder if that’s just because he’s new to it all or whether it’s here to stay. In any case, it makes for a good interview. Very refreshing to hear a player avoid going to the cliches, anyway.

  • bob schmidt

    Certainly a good interview rahat. It is nice to listen to Greg actually communicate as compared to many players who act like the press is too much of a bother. Reports say that Greg has a 12″ wide hand, enormous compared to average. Maybe in a future interview you might compare his hands to average size folks…. Thanks for getting this footage, much appreciated.

  • rahathuq

    Yeah, I loved how enthusiastic he was about basketball. We spoke off-camera for quite a bit before the game and he just kept reiterating how hungry he is to improve. I’ll mention something tonight about his hands when I see him again.

  • alkemious

    Any chance you could upload clips of his blocks in the game? I couldn’t watch the game and I’d love to see how Greg looked on the court. Also, your excitement is contagious, Rahat. Goes to show how much we’re starved for talented, athletic post presence.

  • rahathuq

    @alkemious check Clutchfans. I think I saw someone tweet a compilation from Dave earlier today.

  • alkemious

    @rahathuq Thanks, found it. The Kid’s looking promising! Let’s hope he’s not going to turn into another bust. Give him a locker as far away from Thabeet and Flynn as possible.

  • rahathuq

    @alkemious he actually sits right next to both of them, lol…

    funny story: after the game the other night, he accidentally came and sat in flynn’s chair. they were clowning him about that.

  • Frogs07

    Is there an assistant coach tasked to prep our low post players, specifically? I was under the impression that Patrick Ewing and Jack Sikma filled this role in years past. Do you know if McHale designates anyone on his staff to develop our bigs? Does he do it himself? We have a lot of quality assistants (Gunning, Sampson, Finch), just curious if they have any specialties or focus.

  • alkemious

    @rahathuq Damn, he’s going to get Flynn’s bust pheromones all over him.

  • favianpua

    Would love to see more of this kid in the future on the court. Like what many have mentioned, he makes for a great interview.

Follow Red94 for occasional rants, musings, and all new post updates
Read previous post:
[video] Chandler Parsons makes something from nothing