Sometimes the road to relevance has its bumps. If that’s the case then the Houston Rockets have all of us holding on for dear life as they fall to the LA Clippers 101-109. Despite the efforts from Houston’s Big 3 (KPJ, Green, Şengün) combining for 70 points, they effectively lose the 2 game series and slide to an abysmal 1-8 start to the season.
It’s The Little Things
It has been paramount for this team to develop some consistency, whether it be on offense or defense. These past two games have proven that they can do both and we have seen flashes. But the inability to get stops, as well as timely shots to fall has this team snake bitten in the clutch. From backdoor cuts, to late close-outs, it is the fundamental defensive plays that need to be made. Take this play for example:
Kevin Porter is ball watching as Terance Mann makes an easy backdoor cut for an alley-oop dunk. KPJ sees Paul George come off a screen at the top of the key, effectively taking his eyes off his man. THESE ARE MISTAKES YOU CANNOT MAKE IN THE 4TH QUARTER.
There are some positives to take from this game! They start and end with Alperen TheStartingCenter Şengün(26/13 on 8-13 from the floor and 10-11 on FTA). Şengün has been night and day when the offensive scheme funnels through him.
His defense leaves a lot to be desired, but will come in due time as continues to get reps as the starter.
The Monstars did a solid and returned Jalen Green’s talent back as he launches off the schneid with 22 pts on 9-17 shooting from the field. There is a lot of polishing in Jalen’s game to truly take the next leap, but his offense should always be there. This is definitely a step in the right direction. When his offense comes together, it gives the Rockets their best chance to win.
The Rockets are 1-8 and well on their way to last year’s 1-16 start. This is coming from a guy who called the Rockets a possible play-in team this year but for the love of all that is good, please get your 2nd win before game 18.
We are better than the 1-16 team of last year. Consistency is key. Culture is key. And 48 minutes of defense is key. But hey, at least the Astros won and tied the World Series at 2-2!