Ex-Bulls center Omer Asik still a work in progress on offense
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org November 21, 2012 5:26PM
Kobe Bryant, Omer Asik
Updated: December 24, 2012 7:09AM
HOUSTON — Has Omer Asik developed into a serviceable center for the Houston Rockets since leaving the Bulls in free agency this past offseason?
But the ‘‘O’’ in Omer is still silent, or at least inconsistent.
“I think he averaged 14 minutes a game before coming to Houston,’’ Rockets interim coach Kelvin Sampson said Wednesday. “There’s always a little bit of a mystery factor: What would he do if he had 30 minutes per game or 35 minutes per game? Omer is one of a handful or 10 guys in the NBA that is averaging a double-double.
“I think Omer has to never forget who he is, though. Sometimes there’s a double-edged sword in working with guys on their offense. They want to get into the games and start experimenting. Experiment in practice.
‘‘Omer is more of a facilitator for us on offense than he is a scorer. As he gets older, more experienced, he’ll get more comfortable scoring, but he’s not there yet.
‘‘He’s trying, but we don’t want him trying at the expense of other guys getting shots.’’
Asik, 26, entered the game against the Bulls averaging 10 points and 12.3 rebounds and was shooting 44.9 percent.
He shot 55.3 percent from the field as a rookie in 2010-11 and 50.6 percent last season.
Asik is getting more than double the minutes he’d get with the Bulls, so there will be more shots, but the Rockets want him to take better shots.
He downplayed the showdown with his former team.
“It’s just another game,’’ Asik said. “It’s only one game, and I’m not feeling any special things. Of course, it’s my old team, but it’s just one game.’’
Hinrich off mark
Point guard Kirk Hinrich was shooting only 29.6 percent, including 25 percent from three-point range, from the field through his first nine games, but he said he wasn’t worried.
“I’m just trying to let it go and not focus on it,’’ Hinrich said. “I’m confident that the percentages are going to come back around.’’
Hinrich, 31, is a career 41.7 percent shooter, including 37.8 percent from three-point range. He averaged 6.6 points with the Atlanta Hawks last season.