"It's a testament to our staff and the coaching staff that we felt good about who's going to come in and play," Morey said. "While it's tough to lose Patrick's defense and professionalism, we feel like the guys who are stepping in can step in. And then when the coaches feel Thomas is ready, then unleash him."
The Rockets finally landed that elusive, top-tier star just before this season when they acquired James Harden in a trade with Oklahoma City. Harden was the third overall pick in the 2009 draft and he's the league's fifth-leading scorer (26.5 points per game). He scored a career-high 46 in a 122-119 win over the Thunder on Wednesday night.
Morey thinks he may have picked up another cornerstone player in Robinson, even though he's been a bust in the NBA so far. Robinson averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds in his final season at Kansas.
"He comes in as a tremendous rebounder," Morey said. "My guess is our coaches are going to him and say, 'Look, on the floor, rebound and defend and you're going to play.' And he'll do it. He's excited to be here. He's a big-time athlete with big-time energy. He can really help us."