Rookie will have nights such as the one Rodions Kurucs had Saturday night for the Brooklyn Nets.
Kurucs missed both of his legitimate shots (as well as a late heave from just inside mid-court to end the first quarter) and the referees had his number.
Literally, they were flashing double fists to indicate his No. 00 early and often.
Kurucs had five fouls in just 13 minutes, at least two of which were of the extremely soft variety and one that was just a miss by the official.
He was visibly frustrated and it affected his play, taking away from his aggressiveness. That’s one of those rookie learning experiences every NBA player has to go through — play through the officials and don’t let bad calls turn into a mental thing.
Jared Dudley has become the NBA’s version of Stephen King’s protagonist Billy Halleck in his 1984 novel “Thinner.” Not in terms of weight loss, but definitely in terms of minutes lost.
After setting a new season-low with 11 minutes Friday against the Toronto Raptors, Dudley got just seven minutes against the New York Knicks on Saturday.
He made the most of them, nearly matching his averages of 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in his short stint.
But it’s clear that his shortcomings have started to tip the scales away from his veteran leadership on the floor. Still a good influence to have in the dressing room and on the bench, though.