With six games left on the schedule, ninth place is not where the Rockets should be.
However, that’s exactly where they are. After a crippling loss to the Chicago Bulls last night, the Houston Rockets plummeted down from seventh to ninth place in the Western Conference standings. Three Rockets managed to put up 20 or more points, but it wasn’t enough to save them from the Bulls’ ridiculous bench performance, outscoring Houston’s bench 67-31.
After hosting the OKC Thunder on Sunday, the team will finish out the season with a handful of “easy” games. The only issue is that the “easy” games never turn out to be so easy for this season’s version of the Rockets — just another example of the disappointment that has plagued them this year.
So, who is at fault for all this disappointment? While that question will most likely never be answered to the fullest extent, the Rockets’ management is owning up to their fair share of the blame. According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Norris, GM Daryl Morey said that the issues this season start with him, along with a few more words about this glum season and the potential of a deep playoff run (or even a playoff appearance). Norris is not quite as optimistic as Morey seems to be, and with good reason. I, frankly, think Morey has done a fine job as GM. The guy put together a team that most of us expected to win around 60 games. Sure, it didn’t pan out like he intended, but he did his job — surround James Harden with talent.
"Confidence is great, but the Rockets—in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Western Conference—haven’t qualified for the playoffs yet. They could mathematically earn the No. 5 seed, but the No. 7 or No. 8 seed is much more likely. That means Houston would match up with either the or the , who have combined for 131 wins this season. Golden State Warriors San Antonio Spurs"
Okay, enough with the blame game. On a separate note, the old geyser Jason Terry (38 years old and eighth oldest current player in the NBA) has taken a look at the possibility of coaching in the college basketball arena. The veteran guard has reportedly interviewed for the head coach position at UAB, as per Calvin Watkins of ESPN. He does not yet know if he’ll retire at the end of this season, but is looking at a bright future in the world of coaching when he does decide to hang it up.
"“In this business, you have to plan for your post-career,” he [Terry] said. “This is no different, being prepared. You always have to be prepared. Would I like to play a couple more years? Yes. But I have to leave my options open. And if this offer is better than what I have on the horizon, then I’m going to have to jump head-first in it. There is some longevity in it, and it is my passion.”"
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As discussed on a near-daily basis on this site, the Houston Rockets will have to make moves this summer if they want to compete for a title next season. One move that could launch them back to relevance would be the acquisition of rookie Jahlil Okafor, according to Space City Scoop’s Coty Davis. Before his season-ending surgery, the young big man had potential to win Rookie of the Year. His injury could cause issues, but it also means he could come at a discount price. It’s something to look into at the very least.
I never thought that the Rockets would be out of the playoff picture at any point this season, looking ahead at teams like the Dallas Mavericks that are only relevant because a 37-year-old guy is dragging them to the seventh seed. It’s still close enough for anything to happen, but I sure don’t like the idea of ninth place for the moment. As a guy who lives in Dallas, I can still consider this season a win if Houston beats out the Mavericks. That way their fans can’t talk smack when the Warriors are busy tearing the Rockets apart.
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