We are now 11 games into the season and the Rockets are 3-8. Not the start most of us were expecting from the team but to start the season the integration of Yao back into the lineup and Rockets figuring out their identity of who exactly they are and what they can be can be causes of the slow start.
So after the first 11 games, the Rockets have played 7 of those on the road, 3 back to back games. The Rockets have played a darn hard schedule through the first 11, against teams such as the Lakers, Warriors, Nuggets, Hornets, Spurs, and the Thunder. All of which are off to great starts. Lakers stand at 10-2, Spurs and Hornets both are 9-1, Warriors and Thunder are a respectable 7-4. Along with that a 3 game road trip to the East. Of course you can take into account the injuries to Aaron Brooks who went down at halftime against the Spurs, Yao Ming who went out after the first quarter against the Pacers and Chase Budinger who is also out for the Rockets. But, of course in this league you can’t use that as an excuse. Now suddenly the depth the Rockets had to start the season are now the starters of the team. You saw how that effected them against the Bulls on Tuesday night, where the bench had the worse game thus far this season.
In most of the games this season the Rockets have had a chance to win the game. But the problem I see right now is that the Rockets do not a have a player that can take over the game in the 4th quarter. Usually that means requiring a superstar to close it out for a team. Most teams in the NBA have those 1 or 2 players that can take over games in the 4th quarter and get their teams the victory. For example, Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Nuggets have Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billups, Portland Trailblazers have Brandon Roy, Boston Celtics have Paul Pierce and Ray Allen so on and so forth. The Rockets have had a chance in every game almost to close out and win but there isn’t a single person that can step up for the team and score. Does that mean the Rockets need to go out and get a superstar with all the trade assets the Rockets have? Or do you wait till this team is finally healthy and insync to win ball games? Take for example, the Lakers game, the Spurs game, and the Bulls game, all of which the Rockets were in it to win the game. Kobe makes the final pass to Blake for the dagger 3, Manu sent it to OT and Tony Parker closed it out in OT, and Derrick Rose, who a few nights ago exploded for 18 in the 4th quarter.The bottom line is, that in that NBA today you need a superstar or 2 to be successful in the league and win championships.
The Rockets lack that “sexy name”, Yao Ming was once a dominate center in the league before his injury. But the Rockets have alot of role players and close to stars on this team. Scola has been playing out of his mind thus far this season and so has Kevin Martin, they have been the 1-2 punch for the Rockets so far. Another area of concern for the Rockets has been their DEFENSE! They are 28th in points allowed, and are giving up way too many points in the 4th quarter to have even a chance to win.
The areas the Rockets need to work on:
2. Getting healthy
3. Playing consistent basketball.
The Rockets next 4 games are against opponents they should beat, Raptors, Suns, Warriors, and Bobcats. Then the going gets tough when they will play Thunder, at Dallas, and home against the Lakers. Hopefully for those games the Rockets should be at full strength.
If the Rockets can’t find their winning ways after 20 games into the season, Daryl Morey should look into moving some pieces.
About the Author
Written by Munaf Manji
Big sports fan particularly the NBA and NFL. I do follow the MLB throughout the season but NBA is my cup of tea. My favorite teams are of course my home teams, Houston Rockets and the Houston Texans. And my favorite baseball team has to be the Boston RedSox! I feel a have sports knowledge that I would like to engage in over talking to other sports fanatics! Always about respecting others and their opinions even if at times it is biased!