It’s funny how quickly moods and perception can change in sports.
Two weeks ago, Houston Rockets fans had all the hope in the world – listening to pundits near and far pump up their championship hopes with talks of a loaded roster and healthier stars.
Then those aspirations took a big dent opening night with a 20-point loss to the supposedly lottery-bound Denver Nuggets. That dent turned into a full-blown, gaping hole after the Rockets proceeded to lose two more to start the season 0-3. Panic ensued.
As all the hope seemed lost, Houston would then reel off four straight with wins over title contenders Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers. All seemed straightened out and those panics of old, merely felt like silly overreactions.
Then Houston lost to the Brooklyn Nets. The now 1-7 Brooklyn Nets. Panic ensued… again.
Now we’re back to where it all started. The Rockets travel to Denver to face the team that began this fret-fest back on October 28th, and instead of championship dreams – fans are just praying not to fall below .500 again. Something Houston didn’t do at all last season.
Yes, this early season has been a roller-coaster, fans wish would finally stop and smooth out like 2014. It’s too early to tell, but the Rockets can once again smooth things over if they can beat the team who has turned this season upside down.
As emotional as I seem, I’m still trying to keep a level head and remind myself there’s 73 games after tonight and anything can happen. There’s some related readings below to help get you ready for tonight’s game – and even if you get discouraged, just remember today is Friday.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about Patrick Beverley’s run-in with the law on Wednesday. If you haven’t, let me reassure you it’s much dumber than it sounds. Beverley was cuffed for having outstanding fines on his god forsaken EZ tag, and now the dash-cam video is out from his arrest. It’s pretty awkward, but I’ll let you watch it for yourself.
Dashcam Video Captures Houston Rockets Star’s Tense Arrest After Officers Discover Open Warrant [The Blaze – Jon Street]
"“You know you lying, bruh. Don’t worry about it. I’ll be out this f***er in 10 seconds. I’ll hop back in my Rolls Royce,” the basketball star (Beverley) then told the officer from the backseat of the car."
I’ve been waiting for someone to write this article, so a big thanks to the guys at The Dream Shake. When Houston plays small and lets Dwight Howard solely handle the rebounding duties, problems arise. No one crashes the boards and Dwight is too old to do what made him a superstar in Orlando. I don’t want to divulge too much, so read more here.
The Rockets’ small ball lineup has a big problem [The Dream Shake – dyslexicsports]
"The lack of rebounds wasn’t Dwight Howard’s fault, he cleaned up the glass as much as he could, collecting 17 himself. Even James Harden managed to grab 9 rebounds. The problem was no one else on the team had more than four."
I’m a day late with this article, but it’s another piece I’ve been waiting for someone to write. Marcus Thorton is good, not just as a shooter but as a guy who could play in crunch time for Houston. He needs more minutes and with Kevin McHale tinkering with small ball, there’s no excuse he can’t see more of the floor.
Houston Rockets Must Find Minutes For Marcus Thornton [Space City Scoop – Jonathan Van Horn]
"From beyond the arc, Thornton has shot an impressive 40%, establishing himself as the Rockets go-to-guy when they need a quick three to end a shooting drought. Thornton has also provided an offensive consistency that the Rockets lacked last season. With Harden on the bench, the Rockets have been able to rely on Thornton to score the ball."
We’ll wrap up the reading today with something echoing what I was ranting about in the beginning of this post. Houston is trending in an uncomfortable direction, but no one wants to outright freak out because we’re only eight games in. There are many problems, but there are many solutions listed below.
Houston Rockets: Not Out Of The Woods Yet [Hoops Habit – Duncan Smith]
"This is a team that is too deep and too talented to get beat at home by teams like the Denver Nuggets and the Brooklyn Nets, but that’s a thing everybody in the NBA thought about the 2012-13 as well. Los Angeles Lakers"
Finally, for those living in Houston here’s a way to earn Karma points. The Rockets are holding a food drive and you can help! Details are in the tweet below.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 13, 2015
It’s finally Friday! What are you doing? You’re done reading! Close this before your boss sees and hurry up to finish that stupid spreadsheet that’s due at noon. Then go get an early start on the drinks and get ready to root on those Rockets tonight and hope Emmanuel Mudiay commits another 11 turnovers without the nine assists.