Pain is Gain – The Rockets’ season long struggle with injuries doesn’t appear to be improving. At all. Jason Friedman of Rockets.com tells a tale that has become all too familiar this season:
Parsons’ issue, on the other, hand, is a relatively new ailment. He first sustained the injury during last Thursday’s practice when he collided knee-to-knee with Terrence Jones. At the time, he says he thought so little of it that he didn’t even seek treatment for it afterward, and said he felt minimal discomfort while playing 44 minutes against the Knicks one day later. Yesterday, however, he noticed that the affected area had begun to become increasingly troublesome.
But don’t worry, the knee was so little a concern for Parsons that he didn’t even interrupt his rehab for his back to tend to his knee. It sounds like he just needs rest after such a grueling stretch of Christmas games. And I know a few sprained knees and a broken hand is nothing compared to whats going on in Chicago and OKC right now, but this team just can’t stay whole. Because of the roster experimentation at the beginning of the season, and then the slew of injuries that followed, hardly a single player has played extended minutes in the role the team had originally intended.
Jeremy Lin has bounced back and forth due to injuries to James Harden and Patrick Beverley; Omri Casspi can’t get in a comfortable rotation with Coach McHale constantly looking for ways to field a front court when Dwight takes a seat. And all that only causes McHale to lean on the starters that much more. So when a player like Chandler Parsons tweaks his knee at practice, but is then forced to play 44 minutes in the following game against the Knicks, these kinds of injuries are bound to happen.
But there is some good news out of all that. After playing a brutal 33 games in November and December, the Rockets have 13 and 14 games in January and March respectively, and only 10 in February and April. That is much more rest in between games than this team is accustomed to this season, and could send them into the playoffs a little fresher. That is, if they have the bodies left to get there.
D-Mo Demoted – Max Croes at TheDreamShake.com is reporting that Donatas Motiejunas is being sent back down to the Rockets’ D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. This is his first stint with the minor league team this season after spending several games on the Vipers’ roster last season.
D-Mo spent 7 games with the Vipers last season. He posted 20.3 ppg & 9.7 rpg in 34 mpg — A stat line that makes you believe he’s an NBA-ready player.
A trip to the D-League may be a positive move for the second-year big man. He’s failed to find playing time in Kevin McHale’s rotation even with injuries to Greg Smith and Omer Asik. He’s tallied 19 DNP’s this season.
Personally, D-Mo’s season long slump is one of the most disappointing aspects of the Rockets through the first stretch of the season. From the before and after shots of his weight training this offseason, to the fact that most of the power forward depth from yesteryear had been shipped off in various trades, I was drinking the Kool-Aid. But the same concerns that kept him glued to the bench last year (defense, foul trouble and consistent shooting), are still plaguing him today.
The timing of this move, however, is not a surprising one; The D-League Showcase is just getting started in Reno, NV. That could explain the thought process behind this decision. Whether the move was designed to help Motiejunas get his mojo back, or possibly show him off to the rest of the league with an eye on the trade deadline, the fact of the matter is he needs minutes. And since the last two games of the Showcase are Wednesday and Thursday, there’s even a chance that Motiejunas could be back by this weekend.
The last time D-Mo spent time with the Vipers, he shined. Here’s hoping this seasons’ disappointment stops in the “The Biggest Little City in the World”.
Hey Dwight – How do you feel about the Lakers coming to town?