With Eric Gordon out with an injury, the Houston Rockets have the league’s worst bench. Let’s take a look at three players the team should consider signing.
After winning eight games in a row, the Houston Rockets are on a three game losing streak, suffering losses against the Nuggets, Clippers and Mavericks. Things like defense and poor 3-point shooting have been a problem, but the most glaring issue over the past three games and for most of the season has been the lack of production from Houston’s second unit.
In the loss against Denver, the Nuggets out scored Houston’s bench 32-21. The Clippers out scored the Rockets’ second unit 58-21. In Houston’s most recent loss, the Mavs’ second unit out scored the Rockets’ 28-11. That’s right, Houston’s bench scored just 11 total points against Dallas, and five of those points came from Chris Clemons and Isaiah Hartenstein in the last two minutes of the game after Mike D’Antoni cleared his bench. Before the game was out of reach, Houston’s bench had just six points, four from Austin Rivers and two from Ben McLemore.
On the season, the Rockets’ reserves are averaging 23.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, ranking dead last in the NBA in each category. Houston’s bench grabs 1.7 steals per game, which makes them second to last in the league steals ahead of only Utah’s second unit.
Clearly, the Rockets have the league’s worst bench, and it puts a lot of pressure on James Harden and Russell Westbrook to put up huge numbers every night to give Houston a chance to win. Let’s take a look at three free agents who can help improve the team’s bench.