Houston Rockets Game 23 of 2015-16 Season vs Wizards

Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) talks with Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) against the Washington Wizards in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) talks with Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) against the Washington Wizards in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Houston Rockets Game 23 of 2015-16  found H-Town facing a similar struggling squad in the Washington Wizards.

Continuing SCS series of all 82 games from last season next up is the Houston Rockets Game 23 of 2015-16 versus the Washington Wizards.

The Houston Rockets added draft picks and signed free agents to improve upon an especially mediocre 41-41 campaign. Big man Dwight Howard left for Atlanta while free agents Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Nene Hilario and Pablo Prigioni joined Houston in free agency.

Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard Jared Dudley (1) and Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) defend in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Rockets fans hopes are several free agent additions and the growth of existing assets will translate into a season similar to 2014-15. While fans wait for opening night on October 26th versus the Lakers hopefully this series will appease your cravings.

To that end, this series showcases the Rockets 82 games noting the pregame analysis, post game grades, and relevant video. Furthermore, SCS will highlight significant changes made by their opponents this summer. So, here it is – – enjoy all 82 posts as SCS takes you back over the 2015-16 season.

Game 23 – Washington Wizards

169. 103. 142. . 109

Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame Analysis:

Hindsight is 20-20 as the season would prove over the course of 82 games.  Both the Rockets and Wizards were teams most pundits had placing at the top of their conferences. In the end Houston squeaked in with the 8th seed and Washington missed the post season altogether.

As the two teams prepped for their first game against one another the Rockets entered with a 10-12 record while the Wizards sat at 9-10.

In my preamble to the contest the players who might not play figured prominently in the analysis:

The Houston Rockets finish off the second night of a back to back set in Washington facing the under performing Wizards.

The thing is this Wizards squad and John Wall may not have been playing very well through the first quarter of the season sure looked strong when they took down the top ranked Eastern Conference Miami Heat this past Monday December 7th.  The question is which team will arrive on the court tonight?

As for the Houston Rockets the team who played in Brooklyn looked like the squad who was losing multiple games early in the season and not playing defense instead of the squad who had won five or their past six games prior to the game at Barclays. Following last night’s loss in Brooklyn the other aspect of this match-up will be whether Trevor Ariza can even go after he took a very hard fall and was visibly injured as he slowly limped off the court.

While the young big Donatas Motiejunas is back he’s still working slowly back into form and getting just a few minutes per game and it’s not even certain the squad will want to have him play back to back games yet.

The full preview of the Rockets versus  Wizards can be viewed via this link.

Post Game Analysis:

With the return of Donatas Motiejunas it was inevitable he would take some time to find his game legs. As a result  writer Andre Cantalogo post game analysis pointed out how D-Mo was struggling to regain his form:

Donatas Motiejunas has just came back to the Rockets rotation last week. Sidelined for 8 months due to a back injury it interrupted his strongest season in the NBA. D-Mo had improved so much last season that Houston Rockets fans expected him to be one final hope to make this squad work and propel Houston up the standings. Instead fans were presented with an incredibly rusty, out of rhythm player who committed silly mistakes and fouls.

This led to the inevitable questions of whether it’s too soon to be worried. Furthermore should Motiejunas  hhave returned to the rotation after very little  practice?

Last night Motiejunas scored his first two points this season and showed us his technique on the post remains top notch.

The full write-up can be viewed via this link.

Stat Leaders:

Demonstrating the contrast in star performances Andre Cantalogo’s post game player grades showcased the spectrum on the scale of production:

F. Ineffective everywhere you could imagine. Poor Donatas Motiejunas with 8 months of rust on his back was actually much better than Superman. Howard was in foul trouble early and got dominated by <a href=. C. Houston Rockets. DWIGHT HOWARD

A. Harden was aggressive  with much better efficiency than the prior outing.   Harden shot a decent percentage from the three-point line (5 of 9). His only blemish (once again) was way too many turnovers (7). As a result by nights end Harden had 42 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.. SG. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

Although the Wizards lost an especially strong performance by John Wall (1 rebound shy of a triple-double) kept the Wizards close :

A. Is there anyone else, really? 26 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds and 3 steals for Eastern Conference premiere point guard.  <a href=. Guard. Washington Wizards. JOHN WALL

NBA.com box score can be reviewed via this link.

Rockets Games vs Wizards in 2016-17

  • November 7th in Washington at Verizon Center
  • January 2nd at home

Draft Picks and Free Agents

Draft Picks:

No draft picks

Incoming Free Agents/trade:

Andrew Nicholson

4-year, $26M, leaves Magic

More from Space City Scoop

  • Ian Mahinmi 4-years, $64M exits Pacers
  • Tomas Satoransky 3-years, $9M
  • Trey Burke (trade from Jazz)
  • Jason Smith 3-year, $16M deal.
  • Danuel House and Sheldon McCLellan signed to training camp contracts
  • Exiting Free Agents/traded: 



    • JJ Hickson
    • Gary Neal

    More Free Agent News

    Next: Updated Free Agency Report

    Next: Free Agency Profiles for all 30 Teams

    Due to the large Houston Rockets fan base, SCS is always looking to add new talent to our writing team. To that end, we’re looking for individuals with a specialized focus.  Specifically, the first area  is perfect for someone who constantly surfs for breaking news on injuries, trades, insider info. Consequently this individual would select top news items providing timely quick hits to keep SCS readers in the loop.

    The other writer would possess an especially strong social media background and would like to interact with Clutch City Fans. Therefore this person will promote SCS team content on facebook and twitter. As a result the successful candidate will  make sure to promote the best content coming from H-Town fans. In conclusion, if you’re a budding writer who possesses these qualities vist the SCS link, and fill out an application.