1 Thing each young Rockets player must improve down the stretch

Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies
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The 2024 All-Star break was supposed to give the Houston Rockets a golden opportunity to get healthy, as they had several key contributors injured heading into the break. Fred VanVleet, the Rockets' floor general, missed a handful of games and the effect was clear.

The Rockets went 1-7 in VanVleet's absence. Now he's back.

Jalen Green seemed to have been dealing with mental struggles, so having a week away from the game figured to help him, in this regard. Everyone stood to gain from a break away from the hardwood, as the league has reached its tough point of the season.

In spite of said break, the Rockets got molly-whopped against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, to the tune of a 127-105 beatdown. 

They followed that up with a victory over the Phoenix Suns, which was a much-needed victory.

If the Rockets want to have even a remote shot at postseason play, they'll need their young guns to step it up. With that being said, let's take a look at one thing that each of the Rockets' young core must work on.

1 thing each young Rockets player must work on down the stretch

Jabari Smith Jr. -Defensive Switchability 

Jabari Smith Jr. is a lanky wing who is built like Kevin Durant. He's 6-foot-11 but weighs 220 pounds.

In addition, he has a 7-foot-1 wingspan. In an ideal world, the Rockets would be able to switch him onto both guards and forwards, however, he hasn't yet shown the mobility and lateral movement to be able to switch to the extent that Ime Udoka would like to.

But because of his offensive contributions, it will be impossible for the Rockets to replace him. In other words, he needs to get better in this regard.