The Houston Rockets added talent this summer in hopes of exiting their rebuild, but the franchise is off to a disappointing 0-3 start. Two of their defeats came against teams who missed the playoffs in 2023, and the Rockets have scored over 100 points just once in three games. They are still adjusting to new head coach Ime Udoka’s schemes and have been playing without Tari Eason, but there are no excuses in the NBA.
The Western Conference is loaded, and things are not getting easier. Houston faces the Hornets on Nov. 1 before 13 straight games against West teams who plan to qualify for the postseason. They must turn things around quickly or the Rockets could be virtually eliminated from contention in December.
They have trade assets, but talks are sparse at this stage in the season. Teams are trying to figure out their needs and plotting courses of action. The Houston Rockets must focus on internal changes that can help them get on track after an abysmal first week.
4. More Thompson
Thompson’s size and athletic ability made him an intriguing prospect, and the Rockets jumped at the chance to draft him fourth overall. Through three games, the 20-year-old has played just 54 minutes.
The Rockets struggled mightily in their opener, and Thompson had some rookie jitters. Throw that game out, and the 6’7 guard has produced 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block with just one turnover in 33 minutes on the floor.
Thompson is a plus athlete who loves to use his speed and get his team out in transition. The Rockets currently rank 29th in offensive rating, points per game, and pace. They are the second-worst offense in the league and desperately need some easy buckets. Getting Thompson in the game more would help.
The Houston Rockets want to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2020. Rookies rarely help contenders, but Thompson was a top-four selection for a reason. They should give him more minutes and make other adjustments.