Rockets News

Houston Rockets look to get back on track against Trail Blazers

By Michael Knight
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers in action against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers in action against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets have been disappointing so far to begin the season. They are below .500 and have been blown out by 20 points or more way too many times. Can they turn it around against the Blazers?

The Houston Rockets are 11-14. You read that correctly, 11-14, the season after making it all the way to the Western Conference Finals and being one game away from beating the dynasty Golden State Warriors.

Now, it’s time to start righting this ship and getting back on track if the Rockets want to salvage this season. There need to be improvements on both ends of the court, whether that be internal with players performing better or external via a trade/signing. Daryl Morey is still confident in this team, though:

The transformation of the squad begins tonight against a solid Trail Blazers squad. We all know by now what they bring to the table each year, the deadly combination of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. They are also looking to get back on track, but for them, it was after a hot start to the year. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games, though.

Where have the problems been recently for the Rockets and how can they start to fix that tonight?

Offense

Believe it or not, the offense actually hasn’t been too bad for the Rockets. The isolation and pick-and-roll heavy attack hasn’t been as good as years past, but the team is still somehow a top-10 offense in the league.

They have struggled at times to create offense, though, being a very hit-or-miss team on that end of the court. The Rockets will face a below-average defense of the Blazers tonight, so maybe that will help them look more like the team of old.

Defense

The other end of the court is where most of the problems have been. When the Rockets decided to part ways with Carmelo Anthony, the immediate results were great. The team played hard on both ends of the court and were winning games.

Then the effort level suddenly dropped and the Rockets were back to being bad at defense. It starts with the MVP, James Harden. For years and years he has been scrutinized for being a bad defender, but over the past few seasons, he has quietly been good. This one, though, he has been pretty lazy on defense. He’s putting a ton of effort into his offense and is leading the league in scoring, but sacrificing his play at the other end.

Overall as a team, the Rockets are No. 25 in defensive rating. For a team that was great on defense last year, that is extremely disappointing to see. A trade or free agent signing would certainly help in this case.

Next. Takeaways from the first 25 games

The Blazers are a top-10 offense as well. Let’s hope the Houston Rockets can slow them down tonight and get back to their winning ways. It will take effort, something that the team has been short on this season.

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