Keeping in step with last week’s Christmas wishlist, this week I will cover the Houston Rockets’ New Year’s resolutions.
The Rockets are awful. They’re not among the worst teams in the NBA, but they have been the most disappointing team of the season. After making the Western Conference finals, the Rockets will end the calendar year two games below .500 following a tough loss to an injured Golden State Warriors team.
The Rockets’ most obvious struggles are on the defensive side of the ball. On offense, they score the fourth most amount of points of any team in the league at about 104 each game.
On the defensive end, however, the Rockets allow their opponents to score around 105.5 points each game- the fourth highest in the league.
The Rockets defense is making me think of all my regrets from 2015. Including watching them play defense since April.
— Matt Moore CBS (@MattMooreCBS) January 1, 2016
Their are several factors that contribute to the Rockets allowing their opponents to score so many points. First, the Rockets allow their opponents to shoot 46.2 percent from the field. That’s among the highest in the league, and suggests that the Rockets allow their opponents to score some easy buckets.
Second, the Rockets rank fifth in opponent’s personal fouls drawn at 21.8. That the Rockets allow their opponents to draw so many fouls demonstrates their lack of discipline on the defensive side of the ball. In games that are decided by only a few points, getting extra trips to the foul line means a lot.
Third, the Rockets rank behind only two teams in the amount of assists their opponents average each game at 24. This statistic is perhaps the most telling of the Rockets’ poor defense. Without recalling that stat, I’m sure any serious fan of the Rockets can think back to a multitude of times this season where the Rockets have been unable to make the proper defensive rotation only to then look at each other with stares of accusation as their opponents score the ball.
With Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, and Dwight Howard all in the starting lineup, the Rockets may demonstrate great individual defensive efforts, but they are unable to work as a defensive unit, as they constantly fail to make proper rotations. The Rockets give up way too many easy buckets– both in the paint, and from deep.
— Warriors Nation (@SFWarriorNation) January 1, 2016
All three areas that the Rockets struggle in on defense expose their lack of discipline.
On the offensive side of the ball the Rockets don’t have as much to worry about, but there is still room for improvement, particularly in turnovers.
The Rockets commit the fourth most amount turnovers in the league. Aside from giving up opportunities to score the ball, every time the Rockets turn the ball over they are making it easier for their opponent to put points on the board. They allow the seventh most amount of points off turnovers of any team in the league.
Though they are able to find success on offense, their careless play with the basketball makes their lousy defense even more horrendous.
The Rockets have a lot of problems, and I am incapable of solving them. Because they have so far performed below expectations, I’m gonna make their list of New Year’s resolutions short.
PLAY BETTER DEFENSE.
I continue to have the feeling that the Rockets’ struggle on the defensive end of the ball is because of shoddy effort and a shortage of discipline.
Heres to hoping the Rockets feel better about playing some defense going into the new year!
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