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@  majik19 : (13 October 2015 - 09:09 PM) Apparently we claimed Arsalan Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks today... yet another undersized (6'7") power forward for Morey's cupboard.
@  Mario Peña : (10 October 2015 - 01:12 PM) If your part if the Red94 Fantasy Basketball League check the thread to vote for the date and time for the draft event. Thanks y'all!
@  jorgeaam : (07 October 2015 - 08:47 PM) Guys we need 1 more owner for the Red94 fantasy league, if interested please comment on the post in the fantasy basketball thread
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 06:50 PM) Kobe ranked one spot higher than Ariza? Is this based on legacy or...??
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 04:13 PM) It was hard to keep up with both the Astros and Rockets at the same time. Should be interesting on Thursday with the Texans and Astros on simultaneously.
@  Mario Peña : (07 October 2015 - 04:09 PM) It was fun to have the Rockets on last night! Right now I'm watching the Celtics versus Milan and Alessandro Gentile is impressive.
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Well, thinking twice about it, I'd rather have him score less and have the team as a whole do better. Lawson should take a lot of his load off
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Loving that, hope he hits 30 PPG this year
@  thejohnnygold : (06 October 2015 - 06:15 PM) Someone is feeling confident :) : LINK
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 05:54 PM) 10 Teams done, will need 2 more
@  Mario Peña : (06 October 2015 - 02:35 PM) Alright guys, if anyone is interested in joining the Red94 fantasy basketball league we could use one more player to get us to 10 teams (or three to get us to 12 teams). Just check the thread in the Fantasy Basketball forum. Thanks!
@  thejohnnygold : (05 October 2015 - 06:23 PM) I use leaguepass here in Austin with no problems...
@  skip 2 my lou : (05 October 2015 - 03:14 PM) Hey fellas, I'm a rocket fan but I live in the heart of Dallas. Does anybody know if I buy NBA Leaguepass if it's too close to be subject to blackouts?
@  Losthief : (02 October 2015 - 02:24 AM) tks jg
@  thejohnnygold : (29 September 2015 - 05:16 AM) FYI, it was media day today. Interviews are up at NBA.com
@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK

Donatas Motiejunas from up close


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#1 Guest_Zero_*

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

As you all know, the Lithuanan PF/C is spending this season playing in Europe. More specifically, he is the starting center for the Polish league champs Asseco Prokom in Gdynia, Poland - which, as it happens, is where I live. Having been an NBA fan all my life I never had any interest for the local hoops, but I figured I cannot miss the chance to see a future savior of my Rockets in person before he sets off for the bigger lights (yes, it took a direct Houston Rockets connection for me to actually want to go out and see a local game for once in my life). Now, I'm certainly no basketball expert, just a regular basketball fan, but I wanted to share some of my impressions of D-Mo's game. Maybe some of you will find it interesting.

The first thing that you notice is the guy's energy. D-Mo rarely stays still. Despite his size, he's dynamic, quick on his feet and he loves to run the floor (he had a sweet runaway dunk during the game I saw). On the offensive end he's got some really smooth post moves, and oftentimes manages to shake off the defender and go for an easy layup - I can really picture him becoming a great post player once coach McHale starts to work with him on these skills. (I know that's overreacting, but I swear some of his moves in the paint reminded me of the Dream). In addition to attacking the basket, he can shoot it from distance and seems quite confident from the foul line (I didn't see him take many free throws, but he did make all of them).
But despite being the primary option (he easily led the team in scoring that night), he also made some nice dishes to open teammates and you always have to appreciate a big man with decent court vision, so that's definitely a plus.

On the negative side, the one glaring thing is that Donatas badly needs to toughen up. He's tall and lean and quick, and that's all good, especially in Europe where the game is played differently. But he simply has to get stronger and more physical before he sets foot on an NBA court. As of now, the Dwights and Bynums of the world would eat him alive (provided that they catch him first, of course). I'm hopeful this can happen, though - just look at our own Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat and the progress he made since entering the league.

Donatas is also not a particularly great defender. Sometimes he makes bad decisions to go for double team and leave his man open - I think this is partly because he relies a bit too much on his exceptional speed. Moreover, he's just not very aggressive on defense, especially compared to his high energy level on the offensive end. This needs to improve, obviously.
Another probem is his rebounding - for a dynamic 7-footer he doesn't rebound nearly as much as he should.
However, during the game there was one Shaqtin-a-fool kind of moment, when D-Mo jumped hard for an offensive rebound after a teammate missed a free throw - except it was only the first of two shots. I believe it too says something of the great energy and eagerness that he displays on court. The guy just likes to ball.

He also seems to have a natural knack for flopping, flailing his arms and making faces every time a defender touches him, so he should fit in well with the current Rockets team (I'm looking at you, Luis). I'm kidding of course, but then again, not really.

To sum up, I saw a player with a lot of energy, great offensive potential and much room for improvement as far as defense is concerned. Again, all these observations are based on just a single game I attended, so my impressions can surely change once there's a bigger sample size available. I do intend to see more of Donatas' games in the coming weeks, so check back, because I might have something more to say about him in the nearest future. Thank you for attention and I hope you found my thoughts worth your time.
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#2 Sir Thursday

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

Thanks, that's really great insight! Always interesting to hear how prospects are doing overseas.

I get the impression that provided we don't expect him to turn up and start dominating, he could turn out to be a really key player for us. He's still pretty young, right?

ST
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#3 Guest_Zero_*

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:46 PM

He's still 21, so there's a long way to go. I agree, if the Rockets give him time to develop and ease into the NBA game he can be great in a few years. But if he's thrown into the starting lineup and told to fight with the toughest players out there he can get badly burned. I believe patience, as always, is the key.
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#4 Rahat Huq

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    Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

    Zero - wow, this is great insight! I'm going to link this up on the front page later tonight when I get home. Please keep us updated; I think D-Mo is one of the biggest sources of intrigue for observers of this team, given their lack of 'high potential young-talent.'

    From what you saw, is there an NBA player that you'd consider a close comparison?
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    #5 tombrokeoff

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    Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:59 PM

    Thanks, Zero!
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    #6 rockets best fan

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    Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:49 AM

    zero:
    very very good story. I was wondering how d-mo was doing this year. I have not seen much news on him.
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    you can only warn a man that the bridge is out.....if he keeps driving he's on his own B)


    #7 Guest_Zero_*

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    Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:55 PM

    Thanks everyone. Sorry for being quiet for so long.
    I'm glad to tell you all that Donatas is doing real fine. Similarly to the NBA, the playoffs in the Polish league are just around the corner, and D-Mo has just been recognized as one of League's Top 5 players of the regular season. He's been a consistent scorer all throughout the season, and a cornerstone of the defending champs. He's even made some progress as far as rebounding is concerned. Frankly, I can't wait to see him put on a red Rockets jersey.

    Also I owe you all an important update - I haven't seen him play much center lately. It seems that he's much more comfortable as a jumpshooting PF, so I don't think we should bet on him being the long awaited long-term option in the middle. But if he comes over and finds himself under the tutelage of both McHale and Camby... who knows?

    Rahat, I'm awfully sorry I never replied to your question. I was thiking long and hard about this, until the painfully obvious comparison finally hit me on the head - Donatas is a younger, quicker and more dynamic version of our very own Luis Scola. Good post moves, nice footwork, a reliable mid range jumper, with little to no defensive mentality - sounds familiar, don't it? Let's just hope that "D-Mo at the 5" doesn't become a new bane of this ballclub.
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    #8 Ostrow

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      Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:35 PM

      I would live with a more athletic Luis Scola. In term of skill he's top 3 of PFs in the league. The problem is he is the least athletic forward in the league. If D-Mo has that ability he will be a star. And in terms of defense, if he is already considered a top 5 player in the league he doesn't feel the need to play any D. Hopefully when he gets to the NBA he'll realize that he needs to play D and from what I've read he has the athletic ability to be a good defender. So here's hoping.
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      #9 Rahat Huq

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        Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:53 PM

        Thanks everyone. Sorry for being quiet for so long.
        I'm glad to tell you all that Donatas is doing real fine. Similarly to the NBA, the playoffs in the Polish league are just around the corner, and D-Mo has just been recognized as one of League's Top 5 players of the regular season. He's been a consistent scorer all throughout the season, and a cornerstone of the defending champs. He's even made some progress as far as rebounding is concerned. Frankly, I can't wait to see him put on a red Rockets jersey.

        Also I owe you all an important update - I haven't seen him play much center lately. It seems that he's much more comfortable as a jumpshooting PF, so I don't think we should bet on him being the long awaited long-term option in the middle. But if he comes over and finds himself under the tutelage of both McHale and Camby... who knows?

        Rahat, I'm awfully sorry I never replied to your question. I was thiking long and hard about this, until the painfully obvious comparison finally hit me on the head - Donatas is a younger, quicker and more dynamic version of our very own Luis Scola. Good post moves, nice footwork, a reliable mid range jumper, with little to no defensive mentality - sounds familiar, don't it? Let's just hope that "D-Mo at the 5" doesn't become a new bane of this ballclub.

        Zero - No need to apologize. Honestly, any insight you can provide on Motie is very much appreciated. He's basically one of the team's few hopes right now. With another mid-range draft pick, they again won't have a shot at a high impact player. The question is how high is his ceiling.
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