Houston Wins With Big Men

        The Rockets have lacked a quality big men since Yao Ming was forced into early retirement due to injury, relying on undersized and underachieving power forwards too often. But this season could be different for Houston, who are trying to make it back to the playoffs with a revamped roster.

        Through the Draft, Houston picked up Terrence Jones of Kentucky, Iowa State' Royce White and Lithuania's Donatas Motiejunas, last year's first-round pick, are all rookies this season. The 6'8" White has displayed the most well-rounded skill set thus far, just as he did throughout college, filling up the stat sheet with some scoring, some rebounds, and playmaking. Forcing the issue resulting in turnovers in the quicker NBA game and a still-subpar perimeter game have been the downfall of White's game so far, but we can't truly knock his ability to play four positions on the floor; he is averaging 7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists through Houston's four games.

        Donatas Motiejunas, a forward/center, who at one time was considered a lottery pick, fell to Houston via trade last year and spent the 2011-12 season overseas. Through the Vegas Summer League, Motiejunas has displayed his versatile skill set, enabling him to play some low-post, mostly in the mid-range and even outside around the 3-point arc. He is averaging 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds, with an impressive 3.8 on the offensive end per game, and has made 2 3s through four games.

        The most likely initial contributor in the Rockets' rotation is small forward/power forward, lefty Terrence Jones. He has the size and strength to mix-it-up in the post, but the handle and developing perimeter-stroke to take it outside as well. Through four games, Jones is averaging 18.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and shooting 53.7 percent from the field, with a couple of made 3s and an attacking nature that has caused mismatches and resulted in 19 free-throw attempts.

By NBA-DRAFT.com Staff Writer - 7- 19 - 12