Rockets Notes: Wood, Cousins, Porter, Oladipo

Rockets center Christian Wood has declared himself “100 percent” after missing three straight games with an ankle injury, which creates a playing time dilemma for coach Stephen Silas, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. DeMarcus Cousins took over the starting role and averaged 17.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists in Wood’s absence.

Wood, who ranks third in the league in scoring among centers at 23.5 points per game, will move back into the starting spot Thursday night. Cousins has been far less effective off the bench, but Silas hopes his performance this week will boost his confidence.

I think the fact that (Cousins) had some success over these last three games will help him moving forward, making sure that he has enough time on the floor to play well and making sure that we’re doing things so he can play to his strengths,” Silas said. “It’s a harder role coming off the bench. When you’re a starter and you’re given more leeway and your minutes are up and you’re not playing behind Christian Wood — who is really playing well — it’s a lot easier for Cuz as a starter.”

There’s more from Houston:

  • Second-year forward Kevin Porter Jr., who was acquired from the Cavaliers last week, joined the Rockets for practice for the first time today, Feigen notes in a separate story. Because Cleveland wasn’t included in the summer restart and Porter had been away from the team for personal reasons, today marked the first time he has practiced with a team since last March. Silas said Porter has been “great” and “attentive” in his short time in Houston. “We’re just integrating him slowly,” he said. “We’re coming up with a plan that makes sense for him and for the team. He hasn’t played in a while. He’s kind of just learning. He’s a young kid, but he’s very talented. When he first got here, we had to make sure that we’re really, really smart about the structure we have put in place for him on and off the floor.”
  • Victor Oladipo tells Eric Woodyard of ESPN that he held a funeral service for his injured knee before the start of the season. The ceremony, which took place while he was still with the Pacers, was intended to push aside the mindset of being injured that he had been carrying since having surgery for a ruptured quad tendon in 2019. “I was feeling better, but my mind was so used to protecting me — and being hesitant because of my leg — that I had created a habit of doing that,” Oladipo said.
  • In case you missed it, John Wall talked about the importance of getting a win against his former team Tuesday night and the feeling that the Wizards gave up on him.
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12 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Wood, Cousins, Porter, Oladipo

  1. mnsportsfan

    Hopefully that helped Victor. When you have a serious injury like that, sometimes the mind is the hardest to overcome.

  2. Walladipo and Wood

    Porter will have to be patient with his new team since he has so many players ahead of him on the depth chart. Even though McLemore is shooting 43% from three-point range and plays decent enough defense, he seems to be the odd-man out now that the team finally has all of its regular players available for the first time this season.

    Mason Jones has also looked great in limited playing time shooting 58% from three, and he should get a lot more playing time with the G-League next month. But with McLemore and Sterling Brown both on expiring contracts there should be a lot more opportunities next season for the young guys: Porter, Jones, and KJ Martin.

      • Walladipo and Wood

        Obviously that type of shooting isn’t sustainable, but for an undrafted rookie in his first 9 games it’s still damn impressive.

        Jones is also the 11th leading scorer among all rookies so far this season and averaged 22 PPG last season with Arkansas.

        • mnsportsfan

          That is true, it is impressive so far. I’d sure take Anthony Edwards shooting near that even if it’s only 24 shots.

  3. nsideindy

    Oladipo should have had a funeral for his game. He’s not the same player.

    • Stilt Armstrong

      True. Thing about the quad tendon is the rehab can take years sometimes to get back to full strength. And obviously it can also be permanently performance altering.

      Teams are watching his cutting, and explosiveness like Hawks until the TD.

      He has shown improvment this season over last season in his physical health, but I haven’t seen the high gear, and quick first step like he used to have before the injury yet.

  4. takeitback

    At some point Wood and Cousins are going to have to spend major minutes on the court at the same time.

    • Stilt Armstrong

      Wood can get up down the floor OK, but Cuz will have a hard time with teams that run on offense & press defensively.

      Lakers, Utah, Phoenix, Clippers any other team that can run & press effectively will destroy them with Cuz/Wood on the floor together. Always been a problem for D Cuz, not because Wood is on the floor with him.

      Cuz is skilled & I like his game, but his speed is very undesirable.

      • takeitback

        Don’t disagree, but they have to put their best players on the court together WHEN THEY CAN, so that they can worry about playing those teams you mentioned.

        • PiratesFan1981

          See, I was thinking Cousins C and Wood at PF. 2 big men protecting the rim and you have all those guards to play as well. Heck, a few could slide into SF and run 3 guards with the two big men. It’s not ideal, but it’s possible it could work. It’s some 1990s style, but teams are starting to go big again.

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