The rat race continues in the Western Conference and the Houston Rockets are on the outside looking in.
Since the loss, Houston’s week have become a bit more challenging with the Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs ahead. As they continue to fight among each other, the Rockets are running out of time to save their dreadful season.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
Speaking of Tuesday night’s loss, Josh Reese of SB Nation‘s The Dream Shake, believes the Rockets lack of depth at power forward is the key reason for their struggles.
"What is missing from that lineup is a power forward, someone that will help lock down the paint and rebound the ball. The Rockets played some solid defense closing out the game but in key moments, they would allow an offensive board and on the other end, they were easily out-rebounded just due to size."
Perhaps Resse is right. The Rockets have struggled this season due to the lack of depth at power forward. No disrespect to Clint Capela and Terrence Jones. Both have contributed solid roles this year, but their play has been inconsistent. Maybe the one power forward the Rockets have missed is Donatas Motiejunas.
After he was traded last Thursday to the Detroit Pistons, there is some mixed feelings about Motiejunas’ return to Houston. While Motiejunas’ health remains a concern, House of Houston writer James D’Elia feels that fans should embrace his return to Clutch City.
"Donatas Motiejunas is 7’0, so he can keep other forwards off the glass. He shoots the trey at 32% for his career but his shot has improved every season and you can genuinely count on him to make it. He has a fantastic arsenal of post moves which sees him end a flurry of moves with a beautiful hook shot and he has developed a good skip pass out of the post when he gets doubled."
Although D’Elia made some great points about Motiejunas’ contributions to the team, his health is still a huge problem. Motiejunas has been out almost a full year due to back issues, and there is no guarantee that he will return as the same player.
The biggest story line that continues to haunt the Rockets is the estranged relationship with Dwight Howard and James Harden. While everyone has written the all-star pair off, USAToday‘s Sam Amick believes their marriage is far from over.
"The truth, the thing that will make this summer so interesting for the Rockets and the many teams that will be affected by how this superstar saga plays out, is that neither side is ready to give up just yet. Nor should they. As dynamic duos go, Howard-Harden remains one of the best in the NBA. Before discussing the drama and personal dynamics that matter leading up to Howard’s expected free agency this summer, a look at the indisputable fact."
Until Howard and Harden put their differences aside, speculations and rumors about their relationship will never end. However, Amick is one reporter who has given Red Nation some hope of keeping their all-stars together.
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