Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Death by Drummond


I’m back after a nice Thanksgiving break… but nothing around here has changed.

The Houston Rockets are still a struggling mess. Back-to-back wins against the lowly Philadelphia 76er’s and New York Knicks shouldn’t have brought hopes up for anyone – and that was proven Monday night when the Detroit Pistons put the smack down on Houston.

Granted, the Rockets aren’t the only team to fall to the Reggie Jackson/Andre Drummond pick-and-roll-to-death combo game this year, but it proves Houston still isn’t back to normal. The Pistons are an average NBA team, and if they’re boat-racing the Rockets there’s still a long way to go.

The same problems persist. 116 points to the Pistons, 111 to the Knicks, 114 to the 76er’s… the defense still sucks. I mean, just look at these videos of James Harden:

That James Harden defense https://t.co/mseZWU6LVd

— gifdsports (@gifdsports) November 30, 2015

James Harden turned the ball over, then turned into on-court observer https://t.co/UKx7diUAl2 — The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) December 1, 2015

This is now two, separate cases of Harden simply not giving a damn. It’s like he’s gone backwards – from 2014-15 Harden to 2013-14 Harden. It’s simply stunning.  Wash your hands after watching those ugly videos and try to get your mind off last night with some good reading below:

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

Sample size is something I preach in all sports – not to overreact with so little data to work with. This is a good think piece from Fansided’s own Duncan Smith, a good writer and twitter follow at that. The article basically says, “Yes, things look bad but we’re less than 20 games in to an 82 game season – so let’s not overreact.” It’s a nice way to sooth your nerves… for now.  Houston Rockets: Small Sample Size Theatre [Duncan Smith – Hoops Habit]

"No team in the NBA has surrendered more than the Milwaukee Bucks‘ 109 points per 100 possessions, either, which means that the Rockets with Ty Lawson have the worst statistical defense in the NBA. This is a far cry from the sixth-best defensive squad in the league a year ago that had a defensive rating of 100.5."

Ty Lawson

… did you do this to us? He was supposed to come here to make the second unit dynamic – bring a different speed to the floor when

Patrick Beverley

was on the bench. Alas, none of this has happened. What’s been the problem? We’ll leave that explaining to the guys over at The Dream Shake. It’s the most complete breakdown of the Lawson problem I’ve seen yet:

The Unfortunate Demise of Ty Lawson [Danny Emerman – The Dream Shake]

"Lawson’s change of scenery from Denver to Houston has presented several challenges. His role has changed substantially because Harden is also a ball-dominant guard. As a two-man combination, Harden and Lawson have played 344 minutes together and the Rockets have a -9.2 point differential with a Harden/Lawson backcourt."

More piling on the Rockets terrible defense? Yes, let’s continue! Nothing should have been more damning then watching the 76er’s shoot 45 percent from three. The progression has been less than immanent, nothing is improving and the games are starting to pile up. I know… sample size. But we’re running out of time for that to keep being an excuse.

The Houston Rockets and defensive liabilities [Kaveh Jam – Hardwood Paroxysm]

"If ever a win actually added to feelings of inadequacy, this was it. The Houston Rockets are making paltry attempts at progression this season. They have started the year by falling flat on their collective faces. They are so dependent on James Harden that the offense has come to a complete standstill at the behest of isolation. It’s essentially rendered Ty Lawson invisible."

We’ll trend towards lighter subjects as we near the end of this post.

Marcus Thornton

came out of the gates in 2015 red hot as an option off the bench. However, he’s cooled off considerably since then. From over 15 points a game to barely over 10… Thornton is slowly becoming a liability on offense. As for consistency, Jonathan Feigen explains:

Marcus Thornton searching for consistency with each opportunity he gets [Chron.com – Jonathan Feigen]

"Marcus Thornton’s season began with consecutive games never leaving the bench followed by a move into the starting lineup. Compared to that, his playing time and role in general have become more consistent. But in the two games prior to Monday against the Pistons he went from playing nine minutes against the 76ers to 21 against New York, helping to key the Rockets’ comeback win with 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime."

And finally, we all love a good, ole’ fashion posterization.

Dwight Howard

absolutely took it to

Kristaps Porzingis

on Sunday, so let’s watch it again just for the warm and fuzzies.

Dwight Howard! ??? #NBAVine https://t.co/0CHJZkSt5y — NBA (@NBA) November 30, 2015

Next: Sideline Chirps - Rockets Struggle, West Slow Start and Curry vs Green

Ahh, that was refreshing. Tomorrow brings on the

New Orleans Pelicans

, another probable victory for Houston as the Pelicans may be the only team who could beat Houston out for “biggest disappointment of 2015”. But at this point who knows. Consistency is becoming less and less common nowadays.