Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Win or go fishing

Apr 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) dunks against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) dunks against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

I’ve said it before this season, but it’s been somewhat of an exaggeration. Now, I’m saying it when it’s as real as it gets: The Rockets must play tonight’s game with a win-or-go-home mindset.

Whether they show up to play or not, the Houston Rockets are in a win-or-go-home situation. They trail the Golden State Warriors 3-1 and play for their lives tonight in the Bay Area. With Patrick Beverly returning and Steph Curry sitting, the Rockets have an edge. Jason Terry believes they have more than enough grit to steal a win on the Warriors’ home court.

However, the odds are still stacked against them. Golden State has lost one game at home since last season, and that could almost be considered a fluke to the Boston Celtics. Tonight’s game most definitely carries more weight than that one did, and the Warriors’ secondary stars have shown no aversion to stepping up and filling Curry’s shoes in his absence.

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

The Rockets have done significant mental preparation for tonight’s contest. According to Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle, the team met all through Sunday afternoon to go over the previous game 4 loss. It’s no secret that the biggest issues that Houston has faced this year are effort and chemistry-related, (as pointed out by Space City Scoop editor Tamberlyn Richardson) so the team meeting to discuss previous shortcomings is surely not a bad thing.

"“Days like today are good,” Beasley said. “You come in. You watch the good and the bad. You talk about it. It’s embarrassing. Days like today are good so you won’t have that hangover effect of a bad loss in the next game.”"

Along with mental preparation, the Rockets must have a leader to rely on. James Harden would normally be that guy, and his team has relied on him plenty this season, but he has significant leadership issues to work on before the game tonight if he wants to play in Houston again this year, and over the next few months in order to be successful in the future. Space City Scoop editor Tamberlyn Richardson perfectly detailed the work that the Beard has cut out for him this summer, and how it has to look distinguishably different from last summer’s antics.

"Now before Harden fans start thinking I’m hating on him – – I’m not. Harden has proven himself to be among the top players in the league and he been an integral part of the National team’s success. But, for Harden to gain the respect he most assuredly desires (based on how he plays and how badly he wanted the 2015 MVP award) he needs to take a page out of  ‘s book and not  ‘s. Kevin Durant Carmelo Anthony"

If Houston loses tonight, it remains uncertain if this will be the last game played by the Rockets as we know them. With many players’ contracts expiring and a head coaching spot likely to be filled by someone other than JB Bickerstaff, the landscape of the Rockets as an organization could be drastically different next season from what it looks like now. Aaron Ferguson of HoopsHabit outlined the many directions the Rockets could go this offseason, and what it would mean for the rest of the league.

"headlines this summer’s free agent class, but there are some young guys that the Rockets may be better suited to go after. With Beverley and Ariza returning to the starting lineup next season, the Rockets need to focus on the power forward and center positions, especially if they lose Howard in free agency. Kevin Durant"

As I stated earlier, tonight’s game is important. It’s more necessary to win tonight than it has been to win any other matchup this season. It’ll be doable, but it’ll be tough. Check back here for a game preview and any updates that come up. The Rockets’ season could be over in less than 24 hours, and if that’s the case we’ll have all sorts of offseason things to report on as the Rockets enjoy a fishing trip.

Send our Editor any Rockets-related article/video/tweet/gram/vine that we may have missed via Twitter direct message to @TTOTambz.

Next: Houston Rockets Should Sign Byron Scott

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