One loss to a 10-20 team, and the Houston Rockets have hopped right back into the turmoil pool.
It’s always been crazy to me how one game in an 82 game season can have so much narrative impact. On Christmas day when the Rockets beat the San Antonio Spurs, it was as if everything had been fixed. The defense was back, James Harden is back doing James Harden things and there was proof Houston could contend with the best in the West.
Then all of that gets erased with one loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Boxing Day. J.B. Bickerstaff comes out after the game spewing hot fire about “disrespecting the game”, Houston’s offense is suddenly confused and now players are complaining about playing time.
Add in the continuing trade rumors and once again Houston is right back where they started just a week ago. The narrative on this team fluctuates like an iron lung after running a 5K – and it’s exhausting to watch as a fan and a writer. Who the hell can form a reasonable opinion about a team that can’t figure out who or what they are?
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
This was touched on very briefly in Monday’s DRS, so here’s an expanded story for those interested in Marcus Thorton’s displeasure. What is Thorton irritated with? Playing time – which if we were playing Family Feud and the category was “Top five things NBA players complain about” my first guess would be just that. Thorton has not played badly by any stretch, but on a roster this deep it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle – not to mention Kevin McHale may have thought much better of Thorton than Bickerstaff currently does.
"In the Rockets wins that he has appeared in, he’s a +3.6, certainly meaning that he can be effective enough to help this team win some games. His effective field goal percentage is a healthy 52.4 and his true shooting percentage is a blazing 54.8. It a shame the Rockets haven’t been using his skill set enough, allowing it to waste away while he’s riding the pine."
The injury bug continues to dwell inside of the Houston locker room, now having attached itself to the rear-end of Terrence Jones. Jones is apparently very “ill” and is listed as doubtful for tonights matchup with the Hawks. Jones’ performances have varied from game-to-game, but still consistently delivers around 12 points a game with reasonably efficient shooting. He will be missed tonight for sure, if he is indeed out.
"The Kentucky product has seen his playing time drop off, at times, this season, but he’s played at least 20 minutes in five of the team’s last six games. Jones is coming off of a 13-point, five-rebound performance Saturday against New Orleans, and he finished with 14 points and six rebounds Friday versus the Spurs."
Here’s a new trade scenario for you to wrap your mind around this feeble Tuesday morning: Dwight Howard to the New York Knicks? Indeed. In this scenario, Houston gives up a little too much for my liking for some very average pieces. In the three team deal that would involve New Orlenans, New York and Houston – the Rockets are trading away an All-Star, a key starter and a intriguing prospect for – at best – Ryan Anderson. I’m not sure how I’d feel about it, but leave what you think in the comments section.
"The proposal would have the Houston Rockets receiving Omer Asik and Ryan Anderson from the New Orleans Pelicans. They would also get Derrick Williams and Jose Calderon from the New York Knicks in the deal."
Riddle me this – what would make you vote James Harden into the All-Star game? His play, or this puppy? I’ll let you decide.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 23, 2015
Oh narrative… why do you insist on being so annoying? Why can’t I just enjoy my basketball without the story lines? I, along with the rest of you, will try to enjoy my Tuesday without letting that pesky “N” word come into play.