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.