Houston Rockets: 3 takeaways from Week 1

By Tevin Williams
Houston Rockets Guard James Harden (13) (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Guard James Harden (13) (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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1. The Rockets need to give a better effort on the boards in order to win more games

After losing Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute and assistant coach and defensive specialist Jeff Bzdelik over the offseason, many people wondered if the Rockets could maintain their seventh ranked defense from last year.

So far, the answer has been an astounding no.

The Rockets have given up 115 points each to the Lakers and Clippers and a staggering 131 points in the season opener against the Pelicans. Houston is also allowing their opponents to shoot 49.5 percent from the field, grab 49 rebounds and dish out 28.7 assists per game. All of those numbers need to come way down if the Rockets want to contend for a championship.

The Rockets were out rebounded 54-29 in their loss to the Pelicans and 49-35 in their loss to the Clippers. Houston gave up 12 offensive rebounds to the Clippers and 14 offensive rebounds to the Pelicans.

Grabbing defensive rebounds is simply closing out a defensive possession, so if Houston gives up a ton of offensive rebounds, they’re going to give up a lot of points. It’s just that simple. Not to mention, it’s absolutely deflating to a team’s morale when they play great defense for 20 seconds, only to give up an offensive rebound for an easy tip in or even worse, an open 3-pointer.

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The Rockets are an undersized team, especially since P.J. Tucker plays the role of backup center with Nene and Marquese Chriss out with injuries. The Rockets have to help out Capela and rebound by committee and they shouldn’t have too many players leak out on the break after a defensive possession, at least until the big guys return.