Despite suffering a season worst three game-winning streak, Houston Rockets star James Harden is confident that his team will get back on track.
The Houston Rockets are going through a rough patch in an otherwise prosperous season. After winning 14 consecutive games spanning over a month, the Rockets haven’t won a matchup in over a week.
Besides talent and chemistry, health is one of the most important aspects to any successful team, but unfortunately, Houston has gotten bit by the injury bug. Chris Paul has missed some time with a strained adductor, Clint Capela has been in and out of the lineup and Luc Mbah a Moute will miss another few weeks with a shoulder injury.
These absences have contributed in part to losses against the Lakers and the Clippers, which are two teams that are below .500. The Rockets are still scoring with ease, but their defense has suffered without Paul and Mbah a Moute. Over this three game losing streak, the Rockets have a defensive rating of just 119.6, which is the worst in the NBA. Houston is also allowing their opponents to make 13.7 3s per game on 43.2 percent shooting, both of which are in the bottom five in the league since their losing streak began.
Fortunately, the NBA season is very long and James Harden knows that the Rockets will turn it around, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
“We’ll be all right. That’s it. That’s all it is. Guys are playing a little bit too many minutes. Our defense isn’t really there consistently, and our offense, we aren’t making shots like we need to be. We’ll be all right. It’s a part of it. We’ve just got to fight through it. It’s a long season.”
Defense will be the key
For the Houston Rockets, tightening the gaps on the defensive end will be the key to getting back in the win column.
Over the 14 game winning streak, Houston had the No.n1 offensive rating (118.0)in the NBA and the No. 3 defensive rating (101.5). As long as Harden or Paul are in uniform, the Rockets won’t have an issue in the scoring department. It’s Houston’s defense that has to show up consistently.
Despite the latest rough patch, the Rockets still have the 11th best defensive rating (104.1) in the NBA for the season. Yet, over the last three games, the fewest points that Houston has given up is 112 to the Thunder on Christmas Day.
As Mike D’Antoni said a few weeks ago, the goal for the Houston Rockets is to hold their opponents under 100 points in every game. If Houston is able to accomplish that, they will be nearly impossible to beat because of the sheer number of points that they generate on a nightly basis. Now that Houston has had their wake-up call, they need to re-commit to playing stifling defense from here on out.