The Houston Rockets bad luck / bad effort streak continued as they succumbed to a fourth consecutive loss at home to the Boston Celtics. To that end, home court advantage is proving to be useless for the Rockets this year.
The Rockets keep playing lethargic basketball and are unable to put teams away or even mount a significant lead. Today Kevin McHale’s team managed to open a 15 point lead in the first half before letting it all go down the drain and the teams went to the locker room tied at 55 points a piece.
The Houston Rockets are still displaying the same mistakes from their last games, seemingly not learning from their mistakes. To wit, they are effortless on the defensive end. The number of unforced turnovers are ridiculous as they coughed up the ball 22 times tonight resulting in 39 points from the opponent. Furthermore the team insists on employing a three-point based strategy that is not working out this year. The third quarter resulted in the Celtics demolishing the Rockets as they opened a 20 point lead.
In the last minutes of the fourth quarter the Rockets bench led by Marcus Thornton, Corey Brewer and Terrence Jones managed to cut into Boston’s lead as they attempted to save face. Despite that effort the Rockets have now been defeated for the fourth consecutive time. Here’s a look at the individual player grades:
Rockets Player Grades
Good defense leads to a T-Jones and-1. https://t.co/bV9hKmIgls
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 17, 2015
3 Things We Saw
Bad Fastbreaks: One of the team’s greatest weapons last season, suffice to say it currently needs a lot of work. The team still creates a lot of fast breaks which is a good thing especially when originated from Trevor Ariza’s steals. However, when on a 2-on-1 situation or even 3-on-1 the players make nervous decisions that lead to charging fouls or turnovers when passing the ball. Even players like Corey Brewer that made a career on fastbreak opportunities can’t seem to figure it out this season. It goes without saying that the team is also losing -a lot- of layups.
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Where’s the Rotation?: It’s tough to have the bench contribute when the role players are clearly not getting enough time to display their talents. Kevin McHale seems to have a habit of only subbing his starters when they are too tired or injured. It’s not a surprise that out of 30 teams and 150 starters, there are 3 Rockets between the 10 players with the most minutes on the court (Harden – 2nd, Lawson – 5th, Ariza – 10th). Today our rotation consists of Jason Terry, Montrezl Harrell, Clint Capela, Corey Brewer, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Thornton; of all those players only Brewer and Thornton have been averaging more than 20 minutes per game (22 for Brewer and 31 for Thornton) however Marcus Thornton seems to be falling from grace with coach McHale as he only saw some action in the fourth quarter.
Could McHale be on the hot seat?: Yes it’s still early in the season and it’s very possible that the Rockets could change the tide soon. Nevertheless, coach McHale seems lost. He can’t seem to understand how to change the team’s identity, his rotation minutes are all over the place. Marcus Thornton who until a week ago was a trustful starter, was benched for the first three quarters of the game. The boos just keep increasing day-by-day and the team lacks any sense of urgency or reaction power. We all know McHale just recently signed a three year extension, yet, something must change and from the looks of the crowd at Toyota Center, something must change fast.
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