Turn Overs Are Killing Rockets
It’s one thing when your opponent beats you but it’s quite another when you beat yourself. The Houston Rockets continue to make their own lives more difficult by coughing up the ball.
Last night the Rockets turned over the ball 24 times resulting in 22 points for the Nets. Ironically the Nets turned the ball over an equal amount of times which resulted in one additional point for Houston. One might consider this a wash given both teams were sloppy, but for the Rockets it speaks to how they have issues getting an offensive flow going.
In fact looking at who is at the center of the turnovers James Harden again was one of the main culprits with 7 turnovers. Most of the players contributed to the turn over issues, but if Harden is going to insist on being the main ball handler he needs to be more responsible with keeping a better handle on the ball.
Rockets Bench is Finding Chemistry
Sure it might be easy to just highlight Marcus Thornton’s night but a closer look at the reserves is showing the bench is beginning to build a real chemistry with each other.
Ty Lawson had 5 assists and each time out looks more comfortable with his court mates.
As a unit the reserves produced 10 steals and were on fire from perimeter. In fact the reserves shot the ball much better than their starting counterparts from behind the arc:
While Patrick Beverley and James Harden were 3 of 12 or 25% from behind the perimeter the bench shot over 50% both as a unit and individually:
Terrence Jones: 1 of 2 for 50%
Marcus Thornton: 5 of 8 for 62.5%
Jason Terry: 2 of 4 for 50%
Corey Brewer: 4 of 8 for 50%
James Harden Has To Take Ownership
When Harden’s shot isn’t falling he seems to try to force it and when you combine his turnovers it’s a wide spread problem which results in losses. When he isn’t making solid decisions it hurts the entire team and it needs to be addressed.
The team as a whole shot a decent percentage (47.6% and 42.9% from three), however when you factor in it was the bench who was shooting well and the team allowed the Nets to shoot like snipers (55.6%) again the main issue of the Rockets remains their defense.
With an easier schedule on tap the Rockets need to address their issues in the next 2 weeks and defense remains a major issue. For many pundits it’s not a matter of whether we believe the Rockets can resolve their defensive issues, it’s more a matter of how the avoidance of fixing it early will affect the team later. And Harden has to be the man who takes ownership of the defensive issues. If he were to play 100% dialed in on defense and give up some of his stellar obvious offensive skill set it would go a long way to improving the teams habits. d
At this stage it may end up becoming a moot point as each day rumors grow about an impending trade. This likely won’t gain more traction until the December 15th deadline for when teams can trade players who were signed in the off season. From this writers perspective a trade won’t fix what’s wrong with the Rockets. It might make them momentarily better, but it will only mask the issues that are still causing the team to lose games like this one against a far less talented team. And that my friends is all because the team (as a whole) aren’t playing to their defensive standard across the board.
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