The Rockets are in win-now mode, and it starts with a game against OKC today.
After the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks picked up Ws, the Houston Rockets are a full game behind the playoff picture, and that puts them in a tough position. The streaking OKC Thunder visit Houston today and it’s a game the Rockets must win in order to stay competitive.
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets are far too dependent on James Harden. The guy averages nearly double the amount of points and assists per game as the second leading scorer and passer on the team. When he is off the court, the team often looks discombobulated. How can this issue be solved? Space City Scoop’s Quoc Thai addressed the problem of the Beard-dependance and looked at a few potential solutions.
"Play making is not the only thing that Harden brings to the table, he is also a 3-point threat and a menace when he drives to the lane. How can the Rockets function without him? No one on the Rockets can create their own 3-point shot like Harden. Thus, when Harden is not on the floor, the Rockets should try a different approach. They shouldn’t take as many 3’s. They should only take open threes. The way to do that is to move the ball around and look for openings. Instead of having Harden hogging the ball for 15-20 second before he passes, the ball should constantly be in motion. While this might increase the chance of turnovers, it would help build team chemistry and offer an opportunity to take advantage of lazy opponent defenses."
One of the most productive players on the Rockets whose name isn’t James Harden is Patrick Beverley. The starting point guard has a notorious reputation for hard-nosed, trash-talking defense, but he’s worth more than just getting in the opponents’ heads. Over the past year, as NBA.com’s Ian Thomson writes, he has developed his leadership skills and honed his offensive ability to become a steady contributor who is still capable of making point guards around the league miserable for 48 minutes.
He has been learning how to adapt to the needs of others.
“Understanding the league, everybody is different,” Beverley said. “The way I talk to JET [Jason Terry] or the way I talk to Trevor Ariza won’t be the same way I talk to Dwight [Howard] or one of the rookies or, you know, anybody else of that nature. Being a point guard in this league, you have to balance out people — the emotions and stuff like that. I’m starting to find that out, man. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely a work in progress.”
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By now, it’s old news that Jason Terry is considering leaving the NBA to make an attempt at coaching college hoops. However, as Mike Norris of Bleacher Report discussed, there’s a bit of new information. Not that it’ll influence his decision too much, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he’ll be a great coach. JET played in Dallas for the majority of his career and played his best basketball for the Mavericks.
That’ll be it for today’s Daily Rocket Science. Check back in here at Space City Scoop for today’s game preview and later for the game summary. Hopefully, we have something positive to write about after the Thunder leave town.
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