Its looking to be a Merry Christmas for Houston sports fans as the Houston Rockets get set to play the San Antonio Spurs in the Rockets’ first ever Christmas day game at the Toyota center.
The Rockets will have their work cut out for them this Christmas as the Spurs are playing as good as any team in the league with a record of 25-5. In their previous four meetings the Spurs have gotten the best of the Rockets, beating them three out of four times.
While it would be great if the Rockets were able to beat the Spurs at home on Christmas day, it would be even better if the Rockets could improve in areas that they have so far struggled in this season. Below, I will make a list of Christmas wishes I have for the Rockets.
1) Pre-Rockets Ty Lawson
Before the season started, I was one of Ty Lawson‘s biggest supporters. I thought without a doubt that he would be the piece to put the Rockets over the hump. I knew James Harden was in desperate need of another ball handler, and I thought Lawson would be able to help Harden shoulder some of the offensive load.
So far, I’ve been wrong. Lawson has under-performed perhaps more than any other player in the league. Coming off a season in Denver where he averaged 15 points and 10 assists, he is only averaging 6 points and 4 assists in a Rockets uniform. As the season continues, its looks less and less likely that he will grow comfortable in the Rockets lineup and play like the player we all believed he could be. It may just take a Christmas miracle.
2) Effort on Defense
With a starting lineup that features Patrick Beverley, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard, the Rockets should be one of the best defensive teams in the league. Even though they’re doing a couple points better than they were a few weeks ago, there’s no excuse for the Rockets to allow their opponents to score 105 points per game. As much talent as the Rockets have, their poor defense can only be attributed to lousy effort. As the internet knows all too well, James Harden is exhibit number one when it comes to the Rockets’ lack of defense.
James Harden's defense… pic.twitter.com/mvS6AQZ4Uc
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 16, 2015
If the Rockets want to get me anything for Christmas, I wouldn’t mind some effort on the defensive side of the basketball.
3) A Different Coaching Staff
I put this one at the bottom of my list because it’s the one I felt most divisive about. I don’t want to blame all of the Rockets’ faults on the coaches, but I’ve wanted to get rid of the McHale coaching staff for a few seasons now. I think the Rockets need an established head coach who will instill in the Rockets championship-level discipline. If this wish is to be fulfilled, it will likely happen during a Christmas in July as Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has already stated he will let Interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff finish out the season.
The Rockets deserve a lump of coal for the way they’ve played so far this season. For Christmas this year, any serious Rockets fan would be more than satisfied with seeing the return of a Rockets team that made it to last season’s Western Conference Finals.
Whatever the reasons may be that the Rockets continue to struggle, granting me my Christmas wishes would be a step in the right direction.
Make sure to watch the Rockets tonight as they take on the San Antonio Spurs at 8:00 pm est. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and let us know what is on your Rockets Christmas wish list in the comments below.
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