1 Key goal for every member of the Houston Rockets' "core six"

How can Jabari Smith Jr. of the Houston Rockets improve in 2024-25?
How can Jabari Smith Jr. of the Houston Rockets improve in 2024-25? / Amanda Loman/GettyImages
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There's no ambiguity about what the Houston Rockets' goal will be in 2024-25. This team will be looking to make a playoff push.

That's the next logical step, right? In 2023-24, the goal was to improve. With a 19-game increase in wins, the Rockets were the most improved team in the NBA.

In a sense, continued improvement will be the goal. If the Rockets had won 5 more games, they'd have punched a ticket to the play-in tournament. That type of improvement should be achievable in 2024-25.

The team will be leaning on internal development from each of their young players to clear that bar. There's certainly room for improvement for each of them. Here's one goal for each member of the Houston Rockets' "core six".

Cam Whitmore - Increase Assist %

We've harped on Whitmore for this. We know. Just don't expect us to stop harping until something changes.

Whitmore doesn't have to morph into a passing virtuoso. That's an unreasonable expectation. What he does need to do is improve his ability to move the rock.

In 2023-24, Whitmore had an assist % of 5.8. That simply will not do. For context's sake, Jalen Green's assist % was 17.0, and Fred VanVleet's was 31.2.

Whitmore should be creeping towards 15% in 2024-25. If he can't keep the offense humming, he's likely to lose his place with this team. There's too much young talent on this roster for Ime Udoka to indulge Whitmore's worst instincts.