HOUSTON — Josh Christopher scored 20 points on March 28 when the Houston Rockets fell to the San Antonio Spurs by three points.
Christopher played a near-perfect game after connecting on six out of his ten shot attempts while adding six rebounds, six assists, a pair of steals and a block in a 123-120 loss inside the Toyota Center.
But instead of focusing on the most all-around performance of his short career, Christopher attended the post-game press conference eager to improve his on-court vision — admitting to tunnel vision when the ball was in his hands.
Christopher has spent most of the off-season enhancing his on-court vision during voluntary workouts in Houston. Thursday evening, Christopher will have a chance to test his new playmaking when the Rockets open their 2022 NBA Summer League schedule against the Orlando Magic inside the Thomas & Mack Center in las Vegas.
"For me, it was about slowing down and finding my teammates to the best of my abilities," Christopher said following practice on Tuesday. "It's about learning how to take no more than two dribbles off the pick and roll. But again, more than anything, slowing down when the ball is in my hands."
Playing as an improved playmaker is one of several priorities Christopher has participating in summer league action. But his ability to see the floor is not the only attribute Christopher has improved since the Rockets' season finale against the Atlanta Hawks on April 10.
Christopher has taken the previous three months working on his defense and shooting. The second-year prospect says his goal next season is to develop into a two-way player, resulting in Christopher beginning his training in the early mornings inside the Rockets' practice facility.
"Low man is super important and just being in the right spots," Christopher said when asked about improving his defensive techniques. "I believe I am a solid player when it comes to my on-ball defense. But as an off-ball defender is where I can improve.
"I need to make things happen whether it's deflections or grabbing steals. I need to make sure I'm in the right place to distract other players."
Despite an encouraging rookie campaign, his participation in summer league competition this year was something Christopher and the franchise had planned before he signed his contract as the No. 24 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.
Christopher appeared in 74 games for the 20-62 Rockets. He averaged 7.9 points per game while shooting 44.8percent from the field and 30.0 percent from behind the arc.
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