After an off-season that saw some turnover, the Houston Rockets have started out a league-worst 1-5 in their first six games. Compared with last year’s 5-1 start, the rocky start for the Rockets already has some fans worried about what this season could bring. The loss last night to the Portland Trailblazers by 19 points made it 3 games in a row that the Rockets have lost by at least 10 points or more.
It has been tough to pinpoint what has gone wrong in the early season, but a couple of injuries to starters has not helped. The defending MVP, James Harden, has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and is likely to sit out Friday’s contest against the Nets. The Rockets athletic trainer, Keith Jones, spoke on the situation saying, “You bring him back slow. You bring him back safely” . James Ennis has also missed the last three games as he is expected to be a key contributor to the Rockets offense this season.
Other factors to the Rocket’s losing ways has been an inability to find any offensive output. The focal point of the past seasons success was an explosive offensive that relied on the 3-pointer to funnel their scoring. Last year the Rocket’s offensive rating was 114, but this year it has sank to 103.8, 26th in the league. The offensive and defensive efficiency that made the Rockets one of the best teams in the league last season has evaporated this year. The cause of this could be the Rockets have not found the same chemistry that they had last season with new players like Carmelo Anthony or it could just be temporary bad play.
The Rockets solution to get on a better track is not just one thing, but I think something that could see quick results would be to improve rebounding. The Rockets are currently the worst rebounding team in the league, averaging 29.8 rebounds per game. The lack of boards has caused opponents to take advantage of second chances. Another area that the Rockets should start to see improvement in is their made 3 pointers as they are attempting the most in the league, but only seen 33.3% of them drop.
The Rockets should get back on track with games against the Nets and Bulls coming up, but they should not lose confident in their team’s ability because if they continue to lose games at this pace, they will have blown the opportunity window.