The Houston Rockets are entering a softer spot in their schedule in the next few games and they have the opportunity to go on their first long win streak of the season.
When the Houston Rockets won three games in a row between Nov. 2 and Nov. 5, I wasn’t convinced they were really back. They beat Chicago and Brooklyn, two terrible teams and they narrowly escaped with a win in Indiana. Yes, a win is a win, but the Rockets still played with a lot of the same ugly habits that contributed to their 1-5 start.
But this three-game win streak has me convinced the Rockets have turned things around.
The Rockets defeated Indiana, Denver and Golden State, three playoff teams, by double-digits.
Houston’s offense finally resembled the well-tuned machine that we saw last year against the Pacers, as the Rockets nailed 20 of their 47 3-pointers and limited Victor Oladipo to just 7-of-24 shooting. The Rockets then went into Denver, which is always one of the most difficult cities to win in, and held the Nuggets under 100 points while Clint Capela dominated Nikola Jokic.
The Rockets capped off their current three game win streak with a statement 21-point blowout over the defending champion Golden State Warriors. They limited Kevin Durant to just 20 points, Klay Thompson to 10 points and Draymond Green was held scoreless. Houston limited the most efficient 3-point shooting team in the league to just 4-of-18 from downtown and Golden State had nearly as many turnovers (16) as assists (18).
Warriors fans were quick to remind everyone that Stephen Curry didn’t play, so they now understand how Rockets fans felt last May after Chris Paul missed the last two games of the Western Conference Finals with a hamstring injury. Although, the Warriors still have three All-Stars even with Curry out, more than Houston has with a fully healthy roster.
The Rockets could go on a long win-streak
After taking a peek at Houston’s upcoming schedule, they certainly have an opportunity to go on a long win streak and put their slow start in the distant past.
Houston will take on Sacramento on Saturday night, a team that has surpassed expectations coming into the season. Although, Sacramento’s youth and a lack of a true star will likely catch up to them eventually and this is a team that Houston should beat.
After that, the Rockets will play the Pistons once at Toyota Center and then travel to Detroit for a rematch at Little Caesars Arena. The Pistons are a solid team, but Chris Paul, James Harden and Eric Gordon have a big advantage over them in the back court.
After the game in Detroit, the Rockets will travel to Cleveland on the next night to take on the Cavaliers. Cleveland currently has the worst record in the league, and with no LeBron James or Kevin Love in sight, it should be an easy win for Houston.
Then, Houston will take on Washington on Nov. 26 before playing Dallas on Nov. 28. Both of these teams are under .500 and the Wizards especially have really struggled this season. The Rockets will then prepare for a rematch against the Spurs, who defeated Houston back on Nov. 10. Then Houston will play Chicago, which should result in a win to kick off December.
The Spurs are always a tough matchup, but with the way Houston is playing, they could win each of their next eight games, which would put them on an eleven game win streak. After a rough start, the Rockets need to take care of this soft spot in the schedule and make up some of the ground they’ve lost.