It’s a rat race for the final three spots in the Western Conference and the Houston Rockets are right in the middle.
After their 116-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns, it appears that the Houston Rockets are taking a step in the right direction for their final 26 games. For the first time all season, the Rockets looked like a team that was playing for one another, and not one that is full of chemistry issues.
With the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs ahead, this may be the most crucial week of the season for the Rockets. As they try to keep their playoffs hopes alive, their isn’t much time for Houston to fight among each other in order to save their season.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
The aftermath of the trade deadline has left a lot of fans wondering what’s going on in Clutch City? Specifically, with their All-Star pair Dwight Howard and James Harden. While everyone has written the duo off, ESPN analyst Tracy McGrady still believes Harden and Howard can win a championship together if they let their egos go.They’ve got to let their egos go. Check your egos and buy into the team and buy into one another and compete. Stop worrying about numbers and who has what. Compete and play basketball. These guys have to work together, because they have other pieces around them. If they get in the playoffs, and if they’re clicking, they can be a scary team.[
If there is one player who knows how to sacrifice individual success for the team, T-Mac would be the perfect example for Howard and Harden. When McGrady was traded to Houston in 2004, he said head coach Jeff Van Gundy made it clear that he would have to adjust his game to play alongside Yao Ming.
Although it was tough coming off his second NBA scoring title, the sacrifices McGrady made was the key reason the Rockets made four of five playoffs appearances during his tenure. While McGrady is hoping that Harden and Howard push their egos aside, House of Houston writer Brian Patterson ponders whether the Rockets can sustain their defense showcased in Friday’s win, for the rest of the season.
“What I saw was better basketball being played by the Rockets Friday night against the Phoenix Suns. Over the All-Star Break, they really knuckled down and concentrated about what is causing this team to overachieve. We all knew all along what was the problem. They were playing terrible defense!”
Patterson makes a good point. By having one of their best defensive games of the season, it resulted in a superior performance as a team. If the Rockets can upgrade their defense, maybe they would be a dark horse to win the title this season. By winning Super bowl 50, the Denver Broncos have proven that defense is enough to win a championship.
".” “With the Rockets trading shooting guard Marcus Thornton on Thursday, Jason Terry is expected to go from a part-time role to playing much more regularly than he has through much of the season when he sat out some practices and one game in back-to-backs. Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he believes Terry can play through the remainder of the season"
With Marcus Thornton gone, Terry is the perfect player who can filled the vacant position. Terry can not only provide the Rockets with valuable minutes off the bench, but one who can give veteran leadership on the court moving forward.
Before closing, I have to show respect to Rockets’ legend Joel Anthony. Acquired in a trade that sent Marcus Thornton and Donatas Motiejunas to the Detroit Pistons, for three hours he gave the city of Houston great memories that will never be forgotten.
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