Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: What’s the point?
I’m starting to think that the Houston Rockets are playing a large-scale practical joke on everyone.
“Hey guys, wouldn’t it be funny if we played horribly right when everyone expects us to play really well?!” Sadly, that proposal probably never happened. The Rockets probably want to be playing good basketball on a consistent basis. They probably want to be able to soundly win a home game against an undermanned team that has a sub-.500 record, or make more than 20% or their threes on a given night.
I think I speak for the entire fan base when I say I wish all those things could happen too. Sadly, they can’t, apparently.
The Houston Rockets came into last night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers looking for a three game winning streak to have in their back pockets when they travel to Golden State on Tuesday. They weren’t looking that hard though, and found themselves down by 32 in the third quarter.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe put it best.
You can't trust the Rockets, volume 6738. What a gross performance.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 6, 2016
As James Harden sat during most of the fourth, Montrezl Harrell and other bench players made it somewhat interesting by bringing it within 11 with a little less than three minutes left. Just like it has been for much of the season, however, it was too little too late.
The Rockets embarrassed themselves right on out of the gym. If there’s any silver lining to yesterday’s game, it’s that it may have lit a fire in their bellies that will have them seeking retribution against the Warriors.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
I’ve already said all that needs to be said about yesterday’s attempt at basketball, but Red94’s Paul McGuire assessed the game on a deeper level. He highlighted two straight horrendous defensive sequences that could sum up the year as a whole and discussed what this means going forward: Portland Trail Blazers 96, Houston Rockets 79: Well, that was not fun
"It is ironic. Daryl Morey formally took over in 2007. He was brought in to give a team with two superstars a supporting cast, especially after a playoff series against the Utah Jazz which had a game where only four Rockets scored. And almost a full decade later, the Rockets are back here again."
Despite the team playing the worst game of the season (in my opinion) yesterday, the Beard had a respectable outing with 33 points and 8 rebounds, along with a block and three steals. It wasn’t anywhere near enough though, and that’s been the case for much of this season.
Josh Martin of Bleacher Report wrote a few days ago on Harden’s dominance and what that looks like for Houston in the future. Hopefully, eventually, the entire team can play as a unit and not rely on James to score half the points every night. Tuesday NBA Roundup: Rockets Still Finding Their Way as James Harden Dominates
"But for all his contributions, particularly on the offensive end, Harden has struggled to keep Houston humming along at its 50-plus-win pace from the past two seasons. For the Rockets to return to those heights—and, perhaps, reach another level—in the top-heavy Western Conference, Harden will need plenty of help from the rest of his running mates."
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Speaking of running mates, the trade deadline is coming up in 11 days, and I’ll be taken aback if Daryl Morey fails to make at least one move. At Space City Scoop, we’re in the middle of a trade series that highlights different players around the league whom we think the Rockets should try and bring to Houston. The latest installment is Joshua Van Horn‘s article, Should Houston Rockets Trade for Ryan Anderson? Anderson is a rare breed in a quality stretch four, something the Rockets could use in a big way.
Because of injuries to
, and the inconsistent play of Terrence Jones, the Rockets have struggled to find a player to occupy the power forward position on a regular basis. For that reason, the Rockets have elected to go with interesting lineups at times– including a roster that features two centers, and a small ball lineup that bypasses playing a traditional power forward.
What the Rockets really need is a stretch four, who has enough size to help Dwight Howard rebound the ball, but who can also stretch the floor with his three-point shooting so that Harden and Howard have more room to operate in the paint.
I don’t know if Ryan Anderson could fix all of Houston’s issues, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to shake things up a bit. After all, what is there to lose? The Rockets entered this season with championship aspirations, yet now they struggle to keep their heads above water and are cruising for a first round sweep courtesy of the San Antonio Spurs. I don’t know what things will look like come playoffs, but I’m getting scared to find out.
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With the trade deadline around the corner, make sure you visit Space City Scoop daily for our trade series. Each day, SCS will feature an article on who the Rockets should trade for or what it would take to part ways with the players currently on the roster. Finally, we’ll assess the Rockets and each team in the Association in terms of what their needs are, if they should be buyers or sellers, and also speculate on who would be the ideal trade target.