The Daily Blast – February 26, 2013

New Kids On The Block – While everyone was busy ogling Thomas Robinson at practice yesterday, the Rockets sneakily signed Timothy Ohlbrecht to a multi-year deal. Here’s a quick run-down of the German big man from the team’s official site:

Ohlbrecht (6-11, 255, Germany) has averaged 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.63 blocks in 32 games (29 starts) with Rio Grande Valley this season. He was also named a 2013 NBA D-League All-Star, registering 12 points (6-9 FG) and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Prospects in a 139-125 win over the Futures squad. At the time of his signing, Ohlbrecht led the D-League in field goal percentage (.605, 164-271 FG) and stood 13th in the league in blocks per game (1.63).

A member of the German National Team, Ohlbrecht has also competed internationally with Bayer Leverkusen (Germany-BBL, 2005-06), Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-BBL, 2006-09), Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-BBL, 2009-11) and Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL, 2011-12).

After the break: let the ogling continue.

It was a little surprising to see that Morey didn’t call a big joint news conference with the new players a la the James Harden trade or the first Kevin Martin trade. But that didn’t keep us from getting the first thoughts from T-Rob and Cisco since the trade. What stood out to me is that both players seemed legitimately happy to be in Houston, especially Robinson:

“It’s a blessing man. I can’t even say ‘excited.’ I’m just blessed to be here in this situation, and to get this opportunity to get a second chance.”

He and Garcia both alluded to an immediate difference in the culture in Houston compared to Sacramento in terms of work ethic and a dislike of losing.

Mac Chat – Coach McHale was in rare form during his interview, comparing Patrick Beverly’s offensive rebounding to speeding on the highway (“It’s really good when you don’t get caught”), mocking reporters asking about chemistry with the new players to a first date (“Unbelievable. It’s like you know the first time you went on a date with your wife, you wanted to marry her?”), and outlining keys to success for T-Rob (“I assume if you rebound, run and defend, coach might find a spot for you.”)

But what was really enlightening was when he talked about his determination to work Donatas Motiejunas into the rotation:

“D-Mo’s got his time to play more because it started in practice, even though he wasn’t playing a lot. (Rockets management) said they wanted to move him down to the D-League and go back to the Vipers and I said, ‘No, he’s practicing so well I’ve got to find a way to get him in the game.’ It was hard. We were trying to figure out how to get him in, but he just practiced hard enough, worked hard enough that I was bound and determined to find a way to get him some minutes and now it’s finally working out for him.”

Tweet That – McHale kept Robinson after practice to teach him the ways of the Force post.

Coach Mac giving @ an impromptu post-practice low-post session.
twitpic0607 normal The Daily Blast February 26, 2013
Jason Friedman

All That Power – The good news: Marc Stein’s weekly power rankings have the Rockets at number 8. The bad news: 10 of the top 12 spots are held by Western Conference teams. It’s like running in sand.

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