Whether we want to admit it or not, the Houston Rockets could be better off if they went ahead and started thinking about the future rather than the here-and-now.
Let’s face it. Despite what Dwight Howard thinks, there’s no chance of the Houston Rockets winning an NBA title this year. The Western Conference boasts two of the best teams in NBA history while Houston hasn’t managed to be above .500 for more than a week or so this whole season.
Granted, the Rockets lost their last two contests on unfortunate plays in the final seconds, but the fact that they couldn’t put those games away speaks to their minuscule chances of going far in the playoffs. Today’s Daily Rocket Science will focus on what the team can do to put themselves in position to win in the future.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
I don’t think it’ll come as a surprise to anyone when I say that the Rockets’ primary goal this summer will be to sign Kevin Durant. The big fella will most certainly be one of the most sought after free agents in recent memory. I’ve seen articles that argue that the Rockets have a near-100% chance of signing him, and I’ve seen writers claim that there’s no way he comes to Houston for any reason. While it’s impossible to know for sure what he’ll do, Ethan Rothstein of The Dream Shake says that Morey signing Michael Beasley may help the Rockets’ chances at winning the Durant Sweepstakes.
"But Michael Beasley returning also—again, theoretically—helps the Rockets’ chances of signing, as does longtime friend James Harden, the lack of state income tax, a front office with a reputation for success and a hopefully dynamite coaching hire. And it’s not like the Rockets didn’t just give the Thunder a big scare on the road Tuesday night."
Another issue that will have to be worked out this summer is the question on whether interim coach JB Bickerstaff will return as head coach next year or whether he will get the boot. While the Rockets’ record has improved under the direction of Bickerstaff, the team is still nowhere near where they should be. According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, Bickerstaff is one of the few NBA coaches who is likely to lose his job come summertime.
“I’ve lived this life for a long time and rightly, wrongly, fairly, unjustly people are fired and it happens,” he said, per ESPN.com’s Calvin Watkins. “Very few people get to live the Jerry Sloan or [Gregg] Popovich lifestyle. … It’s like the hourglass—your time is ticking, so you understand that going into it.”
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The last future issue that is worth being discussed is something that has been in the news constantly as of late: the Dwight Howard Saga. D12 will almost assuredly opt out of his contract this summer, but that doesn’t necessarily answer the question as to whether he’ll leave Houston or not. There have been rumors all around, but nobody knows for sure. One of the major rumors that has been circulated says that Dwight has had huge issues with James Harden. However, according to Josh Martin of Bleacher Report, there is “no hate” for the Beard coming from Howard. Regardless, the two have yet to look in sync at all this season and that has taken its toll on the team.
“I have no hate in my blood for this man, you know? For what?,” Howard told Amick. “He came from nothing. We both came from nothing. And we’re doing something that we love. We grew up playing this game for fun, and we had big dreams of making it to the NBA.”
That’s it for today’s DRS. Check back tomorrow for a preview of Houston’s matchup against the gritty Toronto Raptors. The team sits at 9th place right now, just out of the playoff picture, so a win is an absolute must.
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