Danuel House Jr. finds higher ground

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Since being inserted into the Houston Rockets starting lineup, Danuel House Jr. has quickly proven to be one of the most critical components to Clutch City’s attack. Here’s how the 26-year-old wing has finally found higher ground.

Over a year ago, Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. discovered himself at arguably the biggest crossroads in his professional basketball career.

Without an official NBA team or roster spot to call his own, the former Texas A&M star was among the final players cut by the Golden State Warriors following the conclusion of training camp.

Yet in spite of not knowing where his next opportunity would lie, House’s faith in his ability would never waver after hitting ground zero for the third time in three years.

Taking the hard route towards the top was a destination that the Houston native was more than accustomed to doing throughout his life.

“My mom was one of eight — well, technically one of 22 on her dad’s side,” House recently said in an interview with James Herbert of CBS Sports. “My mom grew up in an abusive home. Her dad did some pretty terrible things.

“If my mom could make it through a tough time dealing with her father and the abuse that he used to bring home to her…there’s no way that I can’t handle a little adversity.”

Now, House has managed to successfully land a nice job in his home confines, as the wing who began last season with the Rockets’ G League affiliate has instantly become one of Clutch City’s most indispensable assets since his arrival.

House — who re-signed with Houston on a three-year, $11.1 million deal in mid-July — is currently averaging a career-high 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on 47.9 percent shooting from the field through the first eight games of the regular season.

“I just like his energy and his athleticism,” Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said per Glynn A. Hill of the Houston Chronicle when asked about House’s stellar start to the new campaign.

“He’s made some rookie mistakes where he might force one or two but you can’t get mad at that. [House is] doing all the things he can control. As he gets older in the league, he’ll learn guys’ tendencies a little bit better, but I love Danuel, I think he’s been good for us.”

Although it remains to be seen what House’s lineup status in Houston’s rotation will be over the next 24 hours and counting, the hometown hero has been one of the most multifaceted, catch-and-shoot offensive options from the floor alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook to open his first full year with the Rockets.

He’s been a versatile defender in the process, as the man who initially rose to prominence out of Hightower High School has done nothing but thrive since garnering a spot in the starting lineup.

House — who is averaging a career-high 31.0 minutes per game to date this year — is one of just seven players in the NBA currently averaging more than two 3-pointers made with one block per contest to start the season.

“It means a lot,” House said to reporters when asked about the opportunity to play big time minutes for the team he grew up rooting for.

“Playing with the Rockets on the front of this jersey…first season actually starting off and staying here, it means a lot…Because of the journey, the ups, the downs, it took a lot more to get here. But also, I had fun in the process. In the dark days…there’s no reason for me to not have fun.”

Should House continue to play at this level over the next 74 games and beyond, there is a great chance that he might be able to have some more fun.

All while continuing to show opponents why he should have been much higher on their scouts radars, as the man who once spent time working to carve out a niche for himself in Washington and Phoenix has found higher ground on domesticated land where his heart resides.

Home.

Next: Best player-coach duos for each NBA team’s history

House and the Rockets will work to capture their third consecutive win in the last four outings, as they get prepared to take on Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Saturday.





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