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Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Writers block

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When the Houston Rockets don’t play, these daily pieces can get tough to write.

Not what you were expecting? Well it’s all I really have today. Everything that’s needed to be talked about has been talked about with this team.

Trade rumors? Check. Disappointing early season? Check. James Harden and Khloe? Check. Disgruntled Dwight Howard? Check. It’s all been done.

Honestly I’m just waiting on the next storyline. Right now it appears the next one is “team gelling together after trade rumors” – but I’m not buying into that until I see a win against the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas.

A turnaround seems like a potential thing with the team 10-4 in it’s last 14 games – but in a season like this nothing can be taken at face value.

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

Running on the theme from the last sentence, the Rockets haven’t looked like a flaming dumpster rolling down a hill taking out pedestrians for a couple weeks now. It’s not good enough to be a contender in the West – but baby steps are a nice start. A better Harden and tighter defense are both things to highlight, along with a very easy schedule the last two weeks. With the tough slate ahead, the defense combined with Harden will have to be even better for continued improvement.

The Rockets aren’t an embarrassment anymore, but still have a ways to go [SB NAtion NBA – Jason Patt]

"Countless other problems plagued Houston in addition to Harden’s apathetic play. Dwight Howard was in and out of the lineup as he recovered from injuries. Donatas Motiejunas and Patrick Beverley missed time with health problems and the Ty Lawson experiment never got off the ground. The Rockets are still miles from title contention, but there are at least enough positive signs of late that this season may not be a complete lost cause."

A made a point of talking about this a week ago: hack-a-Howard is deadful to watch. Byron Scott did it down 15 and it made the game linger on way longer than it should have. At that point in the game it didn’t even make any sense. According to the data, it doesn’t even work. So take heed NBA coaches, read the data and cut it out.

Why the Hack-A-Howard Strategy Doesn’t Work on Houston Rockets [Space City Scoop – Ben Casey]

"As a Rockets fan, I say hack Dwight all day long. Houston’s AFG% currently sits at 49.7%, so theoretically the Rockets’ offense is better off with Howard shooting free throws every time. If teams had enough players to foul him for the entire contest and chose to do so, each possession would be so fast that Houston would average well over 100 possessions per game and thus score well over 100 points per game."

Oh Ty Lawson…  what ever happened to you. What was supposed to be a promising acquisition has turned into the Rajon Rondo nuclear implosion part two. Maybe not on the same scale, but Lawson has done nothing to improve the team. Now reports are saying the value for Lawson has dipped considerably since his DUI issue – making him very hard to trade. What other choices do the Rockets have? Cut him? Possibly:

Report: Rockets might consider waiving Ty Lawson [Fox Sports NBA]

"Lawson is averaging career lows in points per game (5.8), field goal percentage (32.9) and multiple other categories. While it seems more likely that the Rockets will attempt to trade Lawson, it sounds like a possibility that the team may consider waiving him altogether."

Here’s a pressing question for all Rockets fans… is Yao Ming a hall of famer? I could write thousands of words on this topic, but that’s another article for another day. For now, let’s just be happy he was nominated. Congrats Yao!

Yao Ming has been nominated for @Hoophall induction in 2016. Congratulations to a true ambassador of the game. pic.twitter.com/nEl24JaeqY

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 21, 2015

Next: Houston Rockets: Returning To Form And Over .500

The Orlando Magic await tonight! At least there is a game for us to watch, possibly another win for the streak. A good warm up before the big matchup with San Antonio on Christmas, the real litmus test for a turnaround.

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