As the Houston Rockets have done all season long, they disappointed yet again Tuesday night in Dallas as they mustered a mere two points in the final three minutes of the game, blowing an eight-point lead and losing their third straight game.
The team that once had the Golden State Warriors one half away from advancing to the NBA Finals seems like a distant memory.
The 2018 Houston Rockets have been nothing like their 2017-18 counterpart.
They are currently 14th in the Western Conference with an 11-14 record. To contrast this roster from last season’s even more, the 2017-18 Rockets lost 17 games in total and did not lose their 14th until March!
James Ennis has been too much of a streaky shooter, has had problems with fouls most of the season, and his defense has not been all that great either. Ennis ranks 393rd in defensive rating per 100 possessions which is worse than Ryan Anderson who is at 332, and Luc Mbah a Moute is at 65.
Marquesse Chriss has been unplayable, Brandon Knight has been unable to play at all, and Michael Carter Williams has all but reinforced that he is not a good NBA player (his net rating for the season is -19.7).
Carmelo Anthony is no longer with the team after a 10 game trial and a mutual decision by both sides to part ways.
“I’m just not having fun man. I’m just not. This sucks. Even the times where I have good games. We’re just not using some guys the right way. Are we gonna make the right sacrifices? Do we have the right attitude?
Everything that can go wrong has, and with the Western Conference being as insanely competitive as it is, Houston has to find a way to turn the season around quickly.
The only problem is that Houston just passed a relatively easy break in their schedule and performed miserably.
During their last eight games (a stretch that included Cleveland, Washington, and Dallas twice) the Rockets went 2-6 with their only two wins coming against the dreadful Bulls and the identity-less San Antonio Spurs.
Houston’s next 15 games now get noticeably more difficult as they will face the Grizzlies twice, the Lakers, the Thunder, the Celtics, the Pelicans, the Warriors, and the Nuggets.
This stretch may very well determine the way the rest of the season goes.
Houston is already second to last in the conference, so they cannot afford to go on an extended losing streak again.
It is time to start winning games or fall out the race before it even begins.