Houston Rockets: The rumor mill heats up

Mar 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) prior to action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) prior to action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite winning three of their last four, the Houston Rockets are back in the rumor mill.

With a win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Houston Rockets‘ record is now back at .500. Thanks to Golden State Warriors win over the Utah Jazz, the Rockets have a little more breathing room as the race for the eighth seed continues. Even though Houston has won three of their last four games, they still find themselves in the mix of rumors and speculations.

While playing some of his best basketball of the season, one can argue that Dwight Howard has been the Rockets’ best player over the past few weeks. Howard has maintained his efficiency as one of the league’s best centers. Over the previous 10 games, he has posted 17.7 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks.

Dwight continues to deny speculations about leaving Houston, D12 still finds his name in the midst of rumors. With free agency a few months away, ESPN’s Ian Begley predicts Superman will join the New York Knicks this summer.

"“Along those lines, one name to keep in mind this summer is Dwight Howard. Some of Howard’s friends have let it be known recently that the center would be interested in coming to New York as a free agent if he opts out of his current contract, league sources say. Whether Jackson and the Knicks would be interested in a player like Howard is another question entirely.”"

Howard has expressed interest in exploring the market this July. Unfortunately, leaving Clutch City for the Big Apple does not seem like a smart move. Especially if Howard is trying to win a championship. The Knicks have not been to the postseason since 2013. So adding Howard will only make the Knicks a playoff team. Not a championship contender.

If Dwight Howard thinks he is unhappy playing with James Harden, he will be more depressed alongside Carmelo Anthony. If his primary goal is to win, D12’s best chance is to stay in Houston. As the rumors continue, it illustrates how far the Rockets have fallen. So much so, Space City Scoop writer J.A. Medders has nicknamed this year’s team Choke City 2.0.

"“The Houston Rockets have gotten whooped by the Warriors. So what? So have the Spurs and the Bulls and a pantheon of Greek gods. Curry is taking names. What’s more troubling than losing to one of the greatest teams in NBA history is losing to the Nuggets, Nets, and having to fight for a two-point win against the 76ers. Here’s where I’m headed with all this sadness: Is Choke City back?”"

While it would be nice to see the Rockets regain their title as Clutch City. Houston does not have the will to win like they did in 1995. Like many NBA Analysts, Medders is just trying to make sense of the Rockets epic collapse.

The least theory for Houston’s epic collapse comes from CBS Sports writer James Herbert. In his article, Herbert tries to make sense of the talented, yet, the maddening inconsistency of the Rockets.

"“Given how badly things have gone in Houston, it’s hard to take the anything-can-happen stuff seriously. While last year’s Rockets went to the conference finals with essentially the same roster, they displayed the sort of focus and resilience that they’ve been searching for since then. Their relentless positivity feels a little performative, but perhaps that’s what it looks like when a team tries to change its personality.”"

It has been impossible to make sense of the Rockets disappointments this season. However, Herbert made a great point. Perhaps their inconsistency has played the biggest factor in the downfall. One week they are playing like the team everyone expected. The next week, Houston is playing worst than the 76ers.

Despite their inconsistency, Herbert says Houston has the best chance of making the playoffs. Yet, is making the postseason worth it  with the Warriors or  Spurs waiting in the first round?

Next: Houston Rockets have no chance to sign Durant

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