Nikola Jokic thinks Rockets should run more offense through Alperen Sengun
In a battle of international big men, second-year Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun lost the battle in Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets and back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.
But with 18 points (50% FG) and 7 rebounds in 23 minutes, which continues a strong offensive season to date, Sengun clearly made quite an impression on the Serbian center — who finished with 32 points (64.7% FG), 12 rebounds, and 8 assists in just 27 minutes.
In postgame comments, Jokic made it clear that he believes head coach Stephen Silas and the Rockets should be running more of their offense through the 20-year-old Turkish prospect.
Here’s what the Denver big man said after being informed that Sengun (who looks at Jokic as an idol) models his game after Jokic:
I think he’s really talented. Maybe this is going to sound weird, but I think they need to play a little bit more through him. Sometimes they look a little bit more stagnant… with all their threes.
This guy has the talent. He can pass the ball, He can post up, he has the touch around the rim. You can see some different moves that he’s made.
Sengun had 14 shot attempts in just 23 minutes during Monday’s loss, though almost none of Houston’s starters played in the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score. The Rockets shot 44 3-pointers as a team.
It won’t take long to see if Silas and the Rockets adjust their game plan, since the same two teams will meet again on Wednesday night in Denver. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Central.
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Nikola Jokic said he thinks that the Rockets should be playing through Sengun more and that they get stagnant. Using Sengun more as a fulcrum should help that according to Jokic.
Cool moment considering Sengun models his game after Jokic as he told @msinger.
— T.J. McBride (@TJMcBrideNBA) November 29, 2022
Takeaways: Alperen Sengun learns in losing battle with Nikola Jokic