Draft Express: The Rockets had an intriguing workout on Wednesday featuring three guards who are all projected as first round picks at the moment, as well as one likely top 10 pick. Marcus Williams, Mardy Collins, Kyle Lowry and Guillermo Diaz all went at it in what was described by one person in attendance as a “super intense and hard fought matchup where everyone competed extremely well.” No one from this workout came out looking particularly bad, but some did show better parts to their game than others. Here is a rundown of the four prospects with paraphrased quotes from two people who were in the gym. Houston’s workouts continue to carry the tradition of being the toughest and most rewarding place in the league.
Marcus Williams: Williams managed to show off his excellent feel for the game and high basketball IQ despite the two on two and drill-oriented nature of the workout. He shot the ball well in drills, and showed what he needed in the 2 on 2’s, getting to the basket using his strength and either finishing strong or finding the open man. One source mentioned that he “looked a little heavy to him,” but that it “did not affect his game much or his conditioning.” The Rockets run a grueling workout, but Williams handled it very well and competed to the very end. “He relies so much on his feel and IQ and that he’s never had to be in great shape,” one observer noted, while mentioning that “he got away with it in college but will make the proper adjustment in the NBA.”
Mardy Collins: Collins may have been the least impressive of the four, due to the fact that again, he is just not a workout type player due to his average athleticism and lack of a perimeter shot. He did an excellent job defensively and scored high marks in the tactical drills that were thrown at him, making up for his lack of razzle-dazzle by displaying his excellent strength and intangibles.
Guillermo Diaz: By far the most athletic player of the bunch, scoring high marks in particular in the quickness drill that the Rockets like to run. Diaz was also the best shooter of the four, looking very good pulling up off the dribble just inside NBA 3-point range, and knocking down close to 70% of his spot-up NBA 3’s. He apparently impressed the on-lookers at one point by taking a nasty elbow in the stomach from Mardy Collins that might have seen most players quit right there and then, but instead got right back up and went back in after a brief break.
Kyle Lowry: This was Lowry’s first NBA workout, and he was already at a disadvantage due to the fact that all the other players were either juniors or seniors while he is only a sophomore. Lowry came out pumped up and full of adrenaline, giving everything he had and leaving everything out on the floor in his typical fashion. This caught up with him towards the end of the workout, and he therefore could not finish. When he did play, he impressed with his defense and tenacity. He also did a good job in the outside shooting drills.