• Brian L. Barefield

Fountain of Youth: Rockets looking for their “Used to Be” mentality.

Photo Credit/RGV Vipers

If you have ever played pickup basketball at the gym with a bunch of older individuals, you know that nothing can help rejuvenate you on the court like a couple of younger players on your team. They just move a little quicker. Jump shot looks better. They play great defense. Just all around good.

All of those things make you push a little harder because you want to show your younger teammates that you still got it. Show them what the older generation calls your “Used to Be” mentality. You know how it goes.

“Back in my day I used to be *insert whatever untruth you want here because they are too young to remember*,” says the older person with their hands on their knees gasping for air huffing and puffing. “You better ask about me.”

With an 11-23 record in the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season and a current 13-game losing streak, the Houston Rockets took their bucket to the fountain of youth (G-League affiliate Rio Grande Vipers) looking for some of that “Used to Be” from earlier in the season and came up with two young and athletic players in Kevin Porter Jr. and KJ Martin.

Houston recalled both players from the Vipers to give them time to get acclimated to the offense and their teammates.

“We need a little spark, and we’re looking for him to bring some of that spark,” said Houston Rockets first-year head coach Stephen Silas about Kevin Porter Jr. during his weekly radio interview on SportsTalk 790 AM earlier this week.

Silas went on to say that he is expecting the same from Martin Jr. and both guys should be at practice prior to the Sacramento game on March 11th.

Photo Credt/ RGV Vipers

What will excite coach Silas more after the NBA All-Star break is having a pair of 20-year-old’s in Porter Jr. who averaged 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 15 games with the RGV Vipers and Martin Jr. who is very relentless as well averaging 17.5 points and 11.4 rebounds a game with a pair of 25-year-old players in center Christian Wood and Jae’Sean Tate who has just as much energy as the aforementioned players.

With a tough second half schedule that consists of 10 consecutive back-to-back series, that could cause a lot of issues for a team whose two brightest stars in John Wall and Victor Oladipo who are coming off of major injuries that caused them to miss some playing time this year, Houston can use all the energy they can get.

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