Kevin Porter Jr. has been one of the few bright spots in a miserable season for the Rockets, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Porter has been spectacular in his first two games since being recalled from the G League, averaging 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists.
Houston acquired Porter for a conditional second-round pick in January after he wore out his welcome in Cleveland due to off-court issues. He was a small forward with the Cavaliers, but the Rockets have shifted him to point guard after having him experiment with the position with Rio Grande Valley.
“He does have like a sereneness to him,” said coach Stephen Silas. “He is just composed for a young kid, doesn’t get too high, too low, That’s a steadying influence on the rest of the group, When you have the guy who has the ball in his hands most of the time, which it was (Friday) for him, to kind of play in that manner and not get rattled by a run by the opposing team or a turnover or a bad play, just kind of have the next play mentality, it’s pretty cool for a young guy to be that way. He’s played two games for us. We’re not going to overstate anything. But we think we got something there.”
There’s more from Houston:
- David Nwaba was projected to have an extended recovery time after straining his wrist in a February 28 game, but he asked to play Friday because so many of his teammates are unavailable, Feigen states in a separate story. Surgery has been recommended, which would sideline Nwaba for six weeks. “Dave came up to me and was like, ‘I’m injured, but it’s hard for me to sit over there and watch when we’re so low on bodies and we’re so decimated and we’re in foul trouble. And even though I’m not 100 percent, maybe I can give a little bit,’” Silas said. “To hear that was definitely gratifying. That tells you a lot about him as a competitor and him as a person and him as someone you want in your group.”
- The absence of P.J. Tucker, who isn’t playing while the Rockets try to work out a trade, has put more strain on a team already dealing with numerous injuries, Feigen notes in another piece. Houston signed guard Mason Jones to a 10-day contract so it would have enough active players for Friday’s game.
- The Rockets will use their 24th starting lineup in 37 games Sunday, Feigen adds. The injuries and lack of continuity have played a large role in the team’s 15-game losing streak. “The sooner we can get to the point we know what our starting lineup is going to be, what our rotation is going to be off the bench, the better it will be for the group,” Silas said. “Obviously, it hasn’t been like that all season.”