Excitement is the best adjective that describes Houston Rockets fans at the moment. With the summer free agent signings of Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, the blockbuster acquisition of James Harden, the unveiling of the new 25 x 25 x 58 ft. video scoreboard, and the high energy level the young team has been playing with, it could be understandable why fans can suddenly have high expectations for the season.
While making the playoffs is possible for the Rockets, many holes need to be fixed for that to be a realistic outcome. Of the 3 wins the Rockets have, 2 of them have come to the lowly Detroit Pistons, while the other came to the Atlanta Hawks, who are on a rebuilding stage after trading away All-Star Joe Johnson. Not to mention that the Rockets have yet to beat a Western Conference team, offensive inconsistency and bench depth are the two holes the Rockets must find a solution for.
The Rockets rank 4th worst in the league in turnovers per game, averaging 17.86, and are 29th and 27th in the NBA in field goal percentage and three point percentage, respectively, as well as being outscored in the 4th quarter or overtime in 5 of the 7 games. This could be directly related to the lack of depth. Next to the Lakers, the Rockets have the second most players who are in the top 50 in the NBA in minutes per game in Harden, Lin, and Chandler Parsons. Aside from Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris, who are both averaging 9 PPG, the rest of the bench has been doormat at best, aside from a couple of thunderous dunks by Cole Aldrich. The Rockets must find a solution at the back-up point, as it’s safe to say that Toney Douglas, who has a meager 1.44 assist/turnover ratio, is not the answer, as well as consistent frontcourt play off the bench other than Morris.
There is a lot of excitement in this New Age of Rockets basketball, but these two holes must be fixed if the Rockets don’t want to be in the lottery once again next year.