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Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: ‘There’s really no good way to lose’

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) fouls Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeat the Rockets 88-86. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) fouls Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeat the Rockets 88-86. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Following a pivotal loss to Dallas the Houston Rockets put themselves in a position where they need to win out and will also have to rely on their opponents.

Sitting two games back of Dallas after the loss last night and a game behind Utah the Rockets have literally backed themselves into a wall. The only good news for them is their remaining opponents are Phoenix, the Lakers, Timberwolves and a Kings team which will feature no Boogie Cousins. Conversely the Jazz face the Clippers, Nuggets, Mavericks and Lakers but hold a game in the win column for the final seed. With the win last night Dallas sits two games up on the Rockets but also face a difficult closing schedule. Perhaps the team who should be the most worried is the Jazz who are clinging to a playoff spot and have won only once in their past 7 tries.

Following the loss last night coach J.B. Bickerstaff, James Harden and Trevor Ariza addressed the media. Harden said they simply didn’t make their shots. Bickerstaff eluded the clutching and grabbing and spoke of some of his line-up changes. Funny he waited all season to start McDaniels when the fan base and we here at SCS have been clamoring for his presence all season.

Ariza made arguably the most profound statement of the season when asked if the fact the team plays again so quickly if that helps them forget the Dallas loss saying ‘there’s really no good way to lose’. Here’s the video links of their interviews:

Bickerstaff:

J. B. Bickerstaff Post Game tries to explain why #Rockets lost #NBA https://t.co/GW8F05ayRN via @houstonrockets

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) April 7, 2016

Harden:

James Harden: Post Game 04-06-16 https://t.co/BKfw0LQAXw via @houstonrockets

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) April 7, 2016

Ariza:

Trevor Ariza: Post Game 04-06-16 https://t.co/rCNDrrkfuh via @houstonrockets

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) April 7, 2016

With the loss in Houston last night the road to the post season becomes much more difficult given the Rockets now trail the Mavericks by  2 games and the Jazz by 1 with all teams having 4 games remaining. There is a silver lining for those hoping Houston still get into the playoffs. Their schedule is the easiest of the bottom seeds and one team who leads all the bottom candidates may logistically have the hardest time making the cut. Earlier this morning I outlined exactly how the Rockets can make the post season, the tie break determinates and the odds of it occurring: Chances Houston Rockets Get Into the Playoffs – What needs to happen

"Perhaps I’m delusional, but based on where the Grizzlies are I’m predicting they will continue to free fall. Obviously much depends on the game in Oakland tonight because a loss by the Warriors to the Spurs would change my assumptions. That said I believe the Warriors will do what they’ve done all season which is follow a loss with a win. I expect Popovich will rest players tonight which bodes well for the Warriors to win. That means GSW will still be hunting down the record when they play Memphis for the first of two of their final games Saturday. Even if Golden State were to lose in San Antonio on Sunday they’ll still want to tie the Bulls record which would mean they’d need to win the final game at home versus Memphis. No matter how I slice it I can’t see Golden State losing either game against the Grizzlies."

In contrast if the Rockets end up missing the post season it may save their draft pick, but will it hurt their real summer plans? Calvin Watkins of ESPN broke the news everyone already assumed that the Houston Rockets will pursue Kevin Durant in free agency:

". Harden and Durant have a strong relationship, professionally and personally. In the last meeting between the Rockets and Thunder on March 22, Harden hugged Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, at midcourt before the game. Harden still has ties to OKC, where he owns a home and his brother has a barber shop in the midtown section of the city"

The problem is how enticed would Durant be to come to a team rife with chemistry issues and if the Rockets miss the post season arriving with the pressure of fixing all those issues immediately. I’m still firmly entrenched in the belief Durant will sign a 2-year deal with the Thunder with an opt out clause. This would enable him to re-enter free agency in the summer of 2017 beside Russell Westbrook and when the bigger portion of the T.V. ad revenue kicks in. We’ll know in a few months, but surely ending the season on a high note would help the Rockets cause.

So as the Rockets prepare for the Suns tonight they have to know it’s win out for a shot in the post season. Will winning all 4 games guarantee that? Nope, but it sure would go a long way to settling Red Nation’s disenchantment with a team who brings their hard hats to work about half the time. These final four games need to be viewed as must wins and a way to send a message to Red Nation that the team actually cares. I guess we’ll find out if the team matters as much to the players as it does to Clutch City. Like Ariza said “there’s really no good way to lose’. Boy Trevor … you said a mouthful!

That’s if for today’s version of Daily Rocket Science, stick with Space City Scoop throughout the day for our updates, game articles and opinions on all things Houston Rockets.

Next: Rockets and Raptors Reversal of Fortune

Next: Should Rockets Tank?

Next: Bickerstaff's Puzzling Rotations

Next: 5 Players Rockets Should Target

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