The Houston Rockets are back to struggling. One of the key reasons for the fall back is the poor rebounding of the team.
The Houston Rockets are back under .500 after making a nice run in the first half of November. Unfortunately, there are some holes in the team, especially the bench, that need to be fixed as soon as possible.
One of those holes is the obvious rebounding problem that exists with the team. Clint Capela hasn’t been the issue by any means, averaging a career-high 12 boards per game as the big man in the lineup. He’s also averaging a career-high in minutes per game by a wide margin at 34.6. The Rockets have to play him big minutes due to the lack of depth and rebounding on the roster.
While the rebounding numbers overall are bad, that mostly is attributed to the defensive glass. The Rockets actually are in the top half of the league in offensive rebounding thanks to guys like Capela and P.J. Tucker but are not deep in defensive rebounding.
On defense, the Houston Rockets rank last in the league by nearly two boards a game at 29.8. They are 27th in the league overall in rebounding, only behind the Suns and the Grizzlies, two teams that Houston should be much better than.
To put that in comparison, the No. 1 team in defensive rebounding right now is the Milwaukee Bucks. They are averaging 40.5 of them per game, almost 11 more than the Rockets. That’s an instant deficit that Houston has that is tough to overcome, leading to the rocky 9-10 start to the season.
What can help?
This was a concern coming into the season, but it wasn’t evident that it would be this big of an issue this early. I’m sure that the front office was hoping to slide by with Isaiah Hartenstein and Marquese Chriss until Nene is healthy and/or they can pick up another rebounder in the buyout market. That hasn’t been the case, unfortunately.
Now, the Rockets might want to start considering trading for a big man that can rebound before the deadlines. It’s tough to see who would be available through trade with the odd start to the NBA season, but one potential name would be Dewayne Dedmon. He has been solid off the bench for Atlanta, averaging (per 36 minutes) 13.5 points and 11 rebounds per game along with 2.4 blocks. Rim protection is another concern early on for the Rockets, and he can help with that.
Other names will start popping up as teams begin to struggle more and more. The Rockets will need to be ready to make some phone calls because right now, it’s ugly.