Let me take you back to a time, a time where the Houston Rockets was on a winning streak.
That time was November 11th, almost a month from today. The Rockets had silenced early panic by reeling off four straight wins, including two against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. A five game win streak seemed all but guaranteed with the lowly Brooklyn Nets as the next game.
Then 106-98 happened. The then winless Nets were no more after defeated Houston at home. That’s when the chaos ensued.
A 1-7 stretch followed, Kevin McHale was fired, rumors of locker room unrest floated up, trade rumors surfaced and all of a sudden the Rockets were the biggest train wreck in the league.
Now, the Rockets have won five of six under J.B. Bickerstaff and things appear to be coming to normality again. But who’s up next? You guessed it.
As the saying goes, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
I love any piece of writing aimed at trying to make you a smarter fan, so kudos to SPS’s very own Anthony Nguyen. The Rockets have been playing significantly better under J.B. Bickerstaff – and this article explains how through the scheme Bickerstaff has been running over the last six games. While the Rockets are still figuring things out of defense, the offense finally has some continuity.
"What we expected in the off season with Harden being off the ball a lot more is what we’re starting to see more and more of. One of the few tweeks that have come within this offense is that Houston has continued to find ways to position James on the elbow or block where he’s more often than not putting thinner and smaller defenders in a torture chamber."
This juicy trade nugget started to float up over Sunday night, and the thought of it is very intriguing. Markieff Morris, the better of the Morris twins in my humble opinion, is in Daryl Morey’s crossheiars as a trade possibility. The word seems to be Houston would have to give up Terrance Jones at the very least, but I’m sure we’ll hear more as the week goes on.
"Morris is in his fifth NBA season, all in Phoenix. Although he is still having a productive year by some measures, averaging more than 12 points per game, he’s not matching his production last season, or the loftier promise he showed in the 2013-14 campaign. His rebounds, shooting percentage, 3-point percentage, and minutes are all down from last season, and his player efficiency has dropped under 10 (the league average is 15)."
Another trade article here, and it’s loaded with Rockets! According to the Bleacher Report piece, Ty Lawson and Terrence Jones are two of the top seven trade targets in the NBA – with the above mentioned Morris falling in the ranks too. If there is any truth to this list, buckle up and be prepared for one wild trade deadline.
"Those selected will be ranked according to how valuable they can be to their next team. Individual stat lines, improvement and career trajectory will take priority, but the cost of each player—contracts, trade packages, etc.—will matter as well."
Now this was refreshing to see – the team finally looking like a team again. At Dwight Howard’s 30th birthday, the team and even Bickerstaff got up on a stage and started to sing and dance. Happy teams play better, and it puts a smile on my face to see the team doing things like this again.
A video posted by The Moores (@forevermoore2013) on Dec 7, 2015 at 8:51am PST
Who knows what will happen tonight? The Rockets look clearly better than they did a month ago, and the Nets still aren’t good but are 5-8 in their last 13. It should be noted the Nets were leading the Golden State Warriors as late as the third quarter last night, but tonight is a new night. The Rockets can get back to .500, or in other words, back to normal.