Kevin Durant impressed with KJ Martin’s rookie season with Rockets

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Houston Rockets rookie KJ Martin turned in a strong second half of the season to finish off his rookie campaign on a high note, and the second-round pick even earned some praise from one of the best players in the game.

Martin played sparingly with the Rockets to begin the season, and even spent some time in the NBA G League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, but eventually saw a larger role. Once he saw consistent playing time, Martin took full advantage of it.

The 52nd overall pick averaged just 3.3 points in 9.8 minutes per game prior to the All-Star break but produced 10.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists over the final 38 games of the season. He scored in double figures in each of his last nine games, including three straight 20-point efforts from May 5-8.

The performance by Martin caught the attention of Kevin Durant, who showed him some love recently on Instagram.

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With the Rockets in a full-fledged rebuilding effort now, Martin established himself as one of the team’s core pieces moving forward. He ended his first season on a high note and certainly built some positive momentum heading into his first offseason.

At the very least, he appeared to win over Durant with his effort this season…

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