Motiejunas Proving Himself in the Rotation

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More

That chance came with Omer Asik’s injury, with (Donatas) Motiejunas showing enough and improving enough to remain in the Rockets’ rotation even when Asik returned. Playing time has increased, with McHale trusting Motiejunas more in the Rockets’ defensive coverages. When the Rockets and Phoenix Suns battled to the final seconds on Sunday, Motiejunas played most of the second half, sinking the final free throws.

“It just showed the coach trust in me,” Motiejunas said. “He believes in me. He knows I will make a right play when it will be a time.

“If you hang in there, things will go your way,” (Rockets Coach Kevin) McHale said. “The problem with these guys is every day of their lives, someone told them how great they are. Then they hit adversity… They’re like, ‘what’s this?’ It’s called the NBA. It’s not perfect. It’s not always great. Sometimes when you’re a 20-year-old kid, you have to earn your time. He worked hard. Now, he’s reaping the benefits.”

via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle