Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Problem solved?

Oct 19, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (10) shoots during the first quarter as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (10) shoots during the first quarter as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Along with nearly every other team in the league, the Rockets have made their fair share of signings in the past week. They’ve come under much criticism, though, for continuing to pay no attention to their defensive inefficiencies.

Both Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon (along with Nene, but that’s a different story) are now Houston Rockets, each on a four-year contract. Both are in their late 20s and have a history of sitting out due to injuries. Both are excellent three-point shooters but are proven liabilities on defense. From what it sounds like, they’ll fit right in with the Rockets.

New head coach Mike D’Antoni will surely focus the Rockets’ offense on pushing the tempo and shooting a ridiculous amount of threes. His best years of coaching were spent trying to convince his team to spend no more than seven seconds on offense per possession. Houston’s new additions will help the team be able to have a play style similar to the mid-2000s Phoenix Suns, if James Harden can handle the role of being the Steve Nash of the group.

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

To go a bit deeper into the fit of Ryan Anderson with the Rockets, Space City Scoop’s Andre Cantalogo analyzed the stretch-four’s game and how it’ll mesh with what Houston is trying to do on the court. His shot creating abilities should help take some of the load off of Harden’s shoulders.

Yet, that’s not even the greatest asset Anderson brings to the table, it’s his ability to create his own shot.

Still, one of the most jarring problems for Houston Rockets offensive game last season was primarily because there was no one to connect or create shots other than Harden. This led to  annoying ISO plays by the Rockets star, which in turn led to turnovers.

Christopher Reina of RealGM.com provided another analysis of Houston’s recent signings, this one with a outlook of disappointment. He argues that both players are overpaid considering their glaring issues on defense and injury history.

The four-year, $80 million deal for Anderson is far more problematic and my pick for the worst so far in free agency.

Anderson is a gifted second unit scorer with his ability to stretch the floor at power forward, but his inability to play even adequate defense makes it impossible to justify playing him starter minutes, let alone pay him starter money.

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On a different note, Bleacher Report’s Joe Pantorno provided a look into what’s going on in Dwight Howard‘s head. Despite the rumors that he doesn’t care, D12 is apparently now more motivated than ever to win a title after the disastrous 2015-2016 campaign in Houston.

The Rockets overcame a slow start to go 41-41, only for the Golden State Warriors to beat them in the first round of the playoffs in five games, which was a big reason why Howard opted out of the final year of his deal with the team.

“Losing. A lot of people see me with smiles and all that stuff and think I don’t care, but I hate losing,” Howard said. “I hate seeing other people stand up on the podium and hold up that trophy, and I worked so hard for it. That’s the main thing.”

It will be interesting to see how the Rockets fare this season. The team made some arguable improvements, but lost the second biggest name on the roster. The team looks well-prepared to have a top-10 or even top-5 offense, but defense will continue to be the team’s weakest point.

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