|James Harden increases the potential of everyone playing on the court with him by demanding
two defenders at times and excelling at finding the open player. He is also fifth in the league in
scoring. ( Smiley N. Pool / Houston Chronicle )
With trade deadline less than a week away, the Rockets will be hesitant to make a move that would jeopardize their off-season cap room. Rockets coach Kevin McHale, however, said that cap room is only valuable if spent, adding that James Harden and Houston could draw free agent interest.
“I’ve never seen Cap Room scoring a basket yet, though,” McHale said. “You know old Cap, last name Room. I’ve yet to see him put a hoop in. I haven’t seen him block a shot. I haven’t seen him get a rebound yet. When Cap Room starts putting up numbers, we should be in great shape.
“People like living in Houston. It’s a good city. It’s a city I think that a lot of people want to come to. A lot of players live there in the off-season. It’s a nice draw. Then, having a guy like James is of course a big draw.”
D-Mo makes case for more playing time
While Rockets rookie Donatas Motiejunas has been open about his frustration with not playing, he did reach the All Star break off the most productive game of his career. Motiejunas has 13 points in 16 minutes off the Rockets bench.
“It just shows how hungry I am, how much I want to play basketball,” Motiejunas said. “I just try to help the team as much as possible. That’s my goal. I cannot control some things, so I try to control my attitude and my work ethic and how hard I’m working.
“It’s basketball, just try to have fun. I missed a couple shots I should make. I didn’t really have a chance to get those nerves. You get the call and go play. I scored a couple easy baskets, got in the game slow. After that, it’s easy to play, you know.”
Asked if Motiejunas had earned an increased role, Rockets coach Kevin McHale said “We’ll see.”
Smith, Jones recalled from D-League
The Rockets recalled Greg Smith and Terrence Jones from the NBA Development League for the All Star break.
By calling up Jones he is ineligible for the D-League All Star Game. The Rockets wanted Jones to be able to rest after playing several games with a sore right thigh and most NBA players prefer the time off to playing in the D-League All Star game. The Thunder similarly called up Jeremy Lamb. Jones could return to the Vipers next week.