Rockets coach Stephen Silas criticizes Alperen Sengun’s defense

Second-year center Alperen Sengun led the Rockets with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday’s loss to Portland, though he played only 25 minutes and didn’t step on the court during the fourth quarter. In that period, Houston closed the gap to as narrow as five points.

In postgame comments, head coach Stephen Silas elaborated on his thinking, and he said it was a reflection of Sengun’s lack of defense.

Per Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle:

They went at him in pick-and-roll. Every single one.

Granted, as evidenced by Damian Lillard’s historic and career-high 71 points, it wasn’t as if any of Houston’s defensive strategies worked.

To Sengun’s credit, he accepted responsibility postgame.

“I just need to be focused on pick-and-roll defense, I think,” Sengun said, per Lerner. “I can do a better job.”

Sengun didn’t finish the game during Friday night’s loss at Golden State, either. In that game, Silas indicated postgame that he believed it was a problem specific to the Warriors.

“The switching (defense) is more difficult when Alpi is on the floor,” Silas said of Sengun. “That makes the defense a little more difficult, against this team in particular.”

After that game, Sengun briefly tweeted (before deleting) emojis indicating frustration, though he later clarified that it was due to disappointment with his own performances in recent weeks.

Now 20 years old, Sengun is averaging 14.9 points (55.5% FG, 33.3% on 3-pointers), 8.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 28.2 minutes per game this season, though he’s clearly a work in progress on defense.

With the NBA’s worst record, Sengun and the rebuilding Rockets (13-47) will look to improve things on Tuesday versus Denver, with tipoff set for 7:00 p.m. Central at Toyota Center in Houston.


Takeaways: Damian Lillard scores career-high 71 as Blazers best Rockets

Kevin Durant appreciates talent of young Rockets center Alperen Sengun

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire