The Houston Rockets fell Thursday night to the Phoenix Suns 111-123. The Rockets kept the game close until a late third quarter Suns run saw them take hold of the game. The loss was the Rockets’ sixth straight and dragged their record to 1-7 on the season, with their lone win coming against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Aside from the most optimistic Rockets’ Twitter accounts, the Rockets were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league. Their roster, full of cast-offs and young players, is designed to secure a top-10 pick.
However, the franchise isn't trying to intentionally lose, and there is one area of their play that is consistently torpedoing their chances night in and night out. Turnovers have doomed the Rockets, and until they sort it out, they'll look more like they belong in the G-League than the NBA.
The Rockets 1-7 record is almost directly tied to them winning or losing the turnover battle. This isn’t a surprise, as turnovers are really bad for your chances of winning. A turnover kills a scoring chance, even a bad shot goes in sometimes. They also usually lead to an easy bucket for the opposition. Turnovers have a compounding effect of turning bad offense into bad defense.
The Rockets lead the NBA in turnovers per game and turnover percentage. As long as that continues, the only teams they’ll be able to beat are the Thunder, Magic, and Pistons of the world. These are three things the Rockets can do to hold onto the ball a bit better and show they’re a franchise on the rise.