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Assistant Coach Sampson on Rookies

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jaiaguilar, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. jaiaguilar

    jaiaguilar Member

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    Great perspective on the rookies posted on Rockets.com! Thought i might repost here -- if it hasn't been already.

    http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/coachs-corner

    LAS VEGAS - Perhaps it’s only appropriate that a city which welcomes millions of people each year who arrive with visions of fast fortunes in their head would also play host to hundreds of young hoopsters with similar dreams of achieving immediate success on the basketball court.

    Of course the reality is that such instantaneous achievement is rarely ever realized. True mastery always takes time and lots of it, whether your game is poker, blackjack or basketball. If instant gratification is your thing then you’re far more likely to run out of luck and find yourself in a roadside ditch similar to the dude in the DirecTV commercial. But if you’re willing to put in the copious amount of work necessary for excellence, the odds of seeing the fruits of your labor realized one day will gradually and incrementally begin to tilt in your favor.

    With that in mind, the Rockets hit the practice floor this afternoon during their lone day off here in Vegas, seeking to dispose of the awful aftertaste left in their mouths after Saturday night’s 76-70 loss at the hands of the Wizards. The players saw their myriad mistakes addressed in no uncertain terms during a 40-minute film session before lacing up and doing drill work on the court for another 45 minutes.

    That is the essence of what summer league basketball is about. It is a training ground designed for application and experimentation, but also for establishing the work habits, diligence and mindset mandatory for NBA basketball. Practice hard, do your film study, apply what you know and learn from your mistakes. Lather, rinse, repeat. Welcome to life in the NBA, rook.

    In many ways, Houston’s first two games – the first delightful, the second a dud -- served as an ideal microcosm of what these players can expect when experiencing the grind of the regular season for the first time. Ups and downs are inevitable. There’s going to be a learning curve and it’s going to be steep. Prepare to stumble. Learn how to fall (and how to get back up). And, most importantly, maintain a level head.

    “I’ve always said that with young guys you worry more about how they’ll handle success than how they’ll handle failure,” said Houston’s summer league head coach Kelvin Sampson after Sunday’s practice. “I was worried about Saturday night’s game because our guys had spent the previous 24 hours hearing from their families, their friends, their loved ones, fans and whoever talking about how good they were. For a young kid in this league, it’s hard to handle that. Learning how to handle that is part of the maturing process they have to go through.

    “Last night was good for them. They got humbled a little bit. We lost a game by six when we had 21 turnovers and missed 19 free throws. We went through all the things we have to get better at today. We had a great film session, we called out some guys that needed calling out, and I’ll be shocked if we don’t play much better tomorrow night.”

    Something else to keep in mind when dissecting the differences between the Rockets’ superb showing Friday night and their lackluster effort Saturday: the Chandler Parsons effect. Parsons was brought to Vegas to play a leadership role and his mere presence on the floor Friday seemed to bring with it a level of comfort and cohesion that Houston simply never came close to attaining against Washington.

    “You could tell last night that a big difference for us was not having Chandler Parsons on the floor,” said Sampson. “He’s a leader and we didn’t have a leader on the court last night. You need that connector, that bridge that brings everything together, and that’s what Chandler is. He does all the little things that can help your team. And last night we had a lot of guys in their individual phone booths with nobody connecting them to each other until Zoran Dragic and Diamon Simpson got on the floor. I have to give those two guys a shout-out for what they did in the second half.”

    What else has Sampson seen over the course of Houston’s first two games? Here’s his quick-hit breakdown on some of the Rockets’ high profile summer league players and what he’d like each of them to focus on going forward.

    Jeremy Lamb:
    “He can score. We knew that when we drafted him and he’s shown it here. Where he’s got to improve is just being physical. He’s not a physical defender right now. He allows his man to get where he wants to go. On pick-and-roll defense he’s got to learn to be more physical getting over and around screens.”

    Royce White:
    “He has to learn to adjust to length. Where he could overpower people with his strength in college, he’s struggling with length here. You don’t overpower length; you have to learn to be crafty. The thing he has going for him is he’s a tremendous passer. So when he gets by his man and draws the extra defender, instead of trying to score over a 6-10, 6-11 guy, he needs to kick it to the open man. We’re going to break down tons of film and show him that.”

    Donatas Motiejunas:
    “He has to figure out that when you do something well and you become the focal point of the scouting report, there’s a chance you can’t duplicate success the same way next time. So when that happens, players must measure their success in other ways: rebounding, defense, running the floor, playing in areas where you can help someone else. For instance, if you sprint in front of the rim you may not get the ball, but you’ve occupied a defender who can’t go help someone else. Little things like that, he’ll learn.”

    Terrence Jones:
    “I just like him. I just like his game. He has a lot of old school in him. He’s 6-9, he has a 7-2 wingspan. He’s left-handed and I think that’s an advantage for him as well. Terrence just has to become more vocal. We depend on our bigs to be air traffic controllers in the back of our defense, calling out pick-and-roll coverages; in the middle of the floor, that’s a different coverage than it is on the side of the floor. Listen, we’ve only had 5 days of practice and a couple games. None of these guys is close to a finished product. But I’ll tell you, if he was a stock I’d buy his stock.”

    Marcus Morris:
    “Marcus had to learn a new position last year and I think it’s been a disadvantage for him having played at the four spot in college and now adjusting to playing the three in the NBA. I think where that adjustment is toughest is on the defensive end because now he’s defending quicker guys who can handle the ball on the perimeter. He’s used to side-fronting guys or fronting guys in the post and now all of a sudden he’s out on the wing navigating on-ball screens or defending against the pick-and-roll. But he’s a smart player who is adjusting. I still think his learning curve is continuing to progress but he’s working at it and it’s important to him and those kind of guys always get better.”
     
  2. ch0c0b0fr34k

    ch0c0b0fr34k Member

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    Great insight from someone who works with these guys day in, day out. Thanks for posting.
     
  3. prs325

    prs325 Member

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    Been overly impressed with Jones as well. He is so underrated that we may end up keeping him which is fine by me
     
  4. jscmedia

    jscmedia Contributing Member

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    Love having all the stuff striped away and hearing from coach Sampson. He's spot on.

    I know it's just summer league, but when I heard Chandler wasn't playing my mind said, "uh oh." Funny how big an impact he makes on the floor with his superior "intangibles."

    After one year.
     
  5. jaiaguilar

    jaiaguilar Member

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    It seems white is turning out to be more of project than i originally thought. and even his potential is hard to gauge cause his such a unique player.

    But im really starting to like Jones. seems like a more athletic landry with much better defense ability.

    Lamb, i've always liked that pick. has as much potential and ability as Beal IMHO.
     
  6. MghtyPtrck

    MghtyPtrck Member

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    he's only underrated because people "clutch fans" were mad we drafted yet another power forward.
     
  7. jvu

    jvu Member

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    interesting. Is there any information on why parsons did not play?
     
  8. solid

    solid Contributing Member

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    I want Sampson to our next head coach. I love this guy. I love his insights. He is a people person plus being a very bright basketball guy.
     
  9. jaiaguilar

    jaiaguilar Member

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    it was reported that he hurt his shooting hand on nba tv. I don't think i was anything more than minor.

    But i read on chronicle that the rockets weren't planning to play him that much anyway for SL. more of a leadership/mentoring role.
     
  10. NewBigThree09

    NewBigThree09 Member

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    It was posted in the summer league thread over and over again....
    But he hurt his shooting hand and is expected to miss all of summer league.
    Only planned on playing 1-2 games anyways
     
  11. Red.Glare

    Red.Glare Member

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    Poor Morris, got grouped in with the other rookies. Still waiting on the potential so many here saw in him. At least he had more points than turn-overs last game.
     
  12. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    Evidently he had injured one of his hands a week or so back, and he had re-aggravated it Friday. If the game had actually counted, I'm sure he would have played.

    agreed, Ive been impressed with him every time I have heard him.


    Also a fan of Jones, I do think he could be a significant contributor on a damn good team. Watch what he does away from the ball, very active and knows where to be.
     
  13. jvu

    jvu Member

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    Thanks Aguilar and newbigthree. I was concerned he was going to get traded. I hope we hang on to him.
     
  14. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    I am also a fan of Jones' defense too. I think it can be very good and assertive.
     
  15. koopa

    koopa Member

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    It's ironic but amongst the rookies the talkers aren't doing well like D-Mo and Royce White. While the quiet ones who do the talking on the court are doing great like Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Jones. I really like Terrence Jones and he has the highest potential to do well in the nba. Jeremy Lamb might be like Kevin Martin but with better defense because of his wingspan and athleticism. And Terrence Jones is like Carl Landry with better defense because of his wingspan as well.
     
  16. prs325

    prs325 Member

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    This goes to show that drafting BPA supersedes drafting for need. I find myself shaking in disbelief every time the Rox draft a player who the consensus feel is inferior, or pass up a player the masses thought we should have, or draft a redundant player in spite of a positional surplus. And time and time again, its proven wrong. It shows us what how much know right?

    If I have to rank the 3 picks, I would value Jones more, Lamb, then White.
     
  17. prs325

    prs325 Member

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    Although its still too early to tell, and SL stats are not to be taken seriously. I believe White will be fine once we find a role for him... ;) ;) PG
     
  18. jdjd

    jdjd Member

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    Agreed. I like what I'm seeing from Jones and Lamb, and like what I'm hearing from Sampson. I always did think he would be a very good NBA coach since he doesn't have to worry about his phone calls to players. He seems to be honest and upfront in his evaluation of the players.
     
  19. hooroo

    hooroo Member

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    Did you miss the first game? For Donuts the second game had a bit to do with the lack of a PG or playmaker, ie Parsons.
     
  20. rocketblaze

    rocketblaze Member

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    D-Mo did great in the first game, even got player of the day honor's from NBA.com. But defenses game planned for him in the next game, completely taking him out of his rhythm. Like Sampson said, when a team focuses on him (defensively), he needs to learn he can be effective in other ways.

    Additionally, Jeremy Lamb is a lot more effective then Kevin Martin off the dribble, not to mention at just 20yrs old, he's already a better defender. Although that's not saying much, given that Martin is arguably one of the worst wing defender's in the league.

    Also I don't think T. Jones has the highest potential among the rookies, but he is the most consistent. He's high IQ, allows him to be effective in other area's of the game when the ball isn't in his hands.

    As for Royce, I feel he would be more effective if we played him as a wing appose to a big. That way it allows him to better scour the court, looking for the open man with his innate passing ability. Although in order for that to happen he has to improve his jump-shot.
     

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