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Can the Houston Rockets stem the tide of a losing season?

By Todd Akin
Chris Paul #3 and PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 and PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets have put critics to rest when it comes to losing their defense, as they have managed to hold opponents to under 90 points in numerous games, and re-signed their former defensive assistant coach.

James Ennis and Gary Clark have filled the defensive vacancy left behind by Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, and they have firepower and youth that those former Rockets players did not have last year.

So, with the defense returning to last season’s form, now the Rockets need to figure out how to put the ball in the basket on a more consistent basis.

Tucker is not scoring enough, and while Gordon is finding his stride again, bench production pales in comparison to last year’s production. Green needs to regain his confidence and Hartenstein, while he may be a new fan favorite for his hustle, isn’t exactly filling the stat sheet up with points.

A suggestion to help solve the Houston Rockets scoring woes is to simply tweak the lineup. The recent Daniel House signing was helpful, but how about swapping Tucker for Clark in the the starting rotation?

Tucker would be able to lead lesser confident bench players and score a little better vs. second string players. Clark, on the other hand, can allow Harden to lead, spot up like he always does, and drain threes. Clark’s field goal percentage has been weak from behind the arc to start the season.

But, he may not be getting enough touches, or may be out of rhythm from coming off the bench. To be sure, fans have seen from the preseason how much the kid can shoot. He just needs, perhaps, more looks at the 3.

The Rockets can play defense. That is not the question. Can they score, consistently, is the real question. Tucker and the bench are not putting up the numbers that the Rockets need, and maybe a simple tweak to the lineups would solve the issues.

Gary Clark has an automatic, repeatable release that needs volume shots to get adjusted to the speed of the NBA. He is already showing signs of being a mini-Capela on the defensive end, so why not start him if he can shoot better than Tucker?

Next. Houston Rockets early season review: Gary Clark

Since Clark is a 3 and D player like Tucker, who is capabale of hitting volume 3s from all spots beyond the arc, the risk/reward for a swap out in starting roles seems favorable at this earlier point in the season. Who knows, maybe a simple shake up like this might be all the Rockets need to get their groove back as a team, and turn their season around for good.

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