Motienjunas worked hard to earn first start
Carlos Delfino seems happy regardless what role he plays with the Rockets, so it was no surprise for him to say he was happy going back to the bench with Donatas Motiejunas as the Rockets' new starting power forward.
"I'm happy," Delfino said. "You kind of get into a role, into a rhythm. When you start to mess up with that, you like, 'OK, I need to do something else or something different,' especially if I'm playing another position, but I've been a professional for a long time and all we players have to do is whatever coach says."
Delfino had been starting out of position at power forward since the Rockets traded both Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris in two separate deals last Wednesday night. In those three games, Delfino averaged 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds as the Rockets went 2-1.
"Carlos did a phenomenal job," James Harden said. "We asked him to do a tough job, playing the four. 6-6 guard against a big, strong power forward. He did a phenomenal job. Just do whatever it takes to help the team win. He's back at his natural position coming off the bench and, hopefully, he can give us a spark tonight (Wednesday) as he usually does."
"He's a guy that's really valuable for us," Kevin McHale said. "He's just a pro. Just his approach to everything, really, is fantastic."
For the season, Delfino averages 10.6 points and 3.2 rebounds. He leads the Rockets with an average of 2.5 three-pointers a contest. On Wednesday, he'll be facing his former team, the Bucks. Delfino torched Milwaukee earlier this season with 22 points and six three-pointers in just under 28 minutes in a Rockets 115-101 victory on Jan. 4.
"I think it is (extra special)," Delfino said when asked about facing a former team. "Like, before the game, it is. You think about what happened in the past. But when you get in the game, it's just another game."