The Houston Rockets hit the skids and are now stuck in the doldrums of a seven-game losing streak. The Rockets seriously miss Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood, who are both out.
Wood, the top player on the Rockets averaging 22 points and 10.2 rebounds, missed the last two weeks with a sprained ankle. Wood became the heart and soul of the Rockets ever since James Harden left in a four-team mega-trade.
“Finding a way to bottle that which we had prior to Christian’s injury with our energy, defensive mindset,” said head coach Stephen Silas.
The Rockets acquired Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers, but the scoring guard recently missed time with a foot strain.
|Houston Rockets – Losing Streak|
|vs San Antonio Spurs||-5|
|at Charlotte Hornets||-25|
|at New Orleans Pelicans||-29|
|vs Miami Heat||-7|
|at New York Knicks||-22|
|at Washington Wizards||-12|
|at Philadelphia 76ers||-5|
The Rockets are 1-8 in their last nine games after they posted a six-game winning streak and moved above .500 at the start of February. It’s been all downhill since then. They lost a couple of close games against the San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers, but then again, the Sixers blew a 26-point lead at halftime, and the Rockets trimmed the lead in garbage time in the fourth quarter.
During this losing streak, the Rockets were blown out by 22 or more points against sub-.500 teams, including the Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, and the New York Knicks.
Bad D, No O
Show me a losing streak and I’ll show you lots of examples of bad defense, especially with the Rockets.
The Rockets allow 111.3 points per game, which is ninth-worst in the NBA. They were playing good defense earlier in the season during a winning streak, but their defense went off the rails when Wood went down.
The Rockets hit rock bottom during the first half of an ugly game against the Sixers in Philly when they were in the hole early in the first quarter and never recovered.
“I told them the way we were playing in the first half was unacceptable, unfair to themselves, unfair to everybody and they had a decision to make as far as our professionalism, our overall lackadaisical play,” said Silas. “Incredibly disappointing in the first half, walking around, not defending, not doing the things we should do. I challenged them to be better, and they were.”
During the skid, the Rockets allowed 130-plus points twice and 121-plus three times. They allowed 111-plus points in six out of those seven losses.
Without Harden, the Rockets don’t try to outgun opponents. They scored 99 or fewer points three times during their skid.
Big man Boogie Cousins (9.6 ppg, 7.6 rebounds) hasn’t been the same player since he blew out his knee and tore his Achilles. He’s a shadow of his former self and hasn’t been able to provide a consistent spark on either end of the court.
On Deck: Indy, Chicago, Cleveland
The Rockets had a game against Dallas canceled this week due to poor weather in Texas. That means they won’t have to play back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday, the Indiana Pacers (15-14) come to H-town and Oladipo would love to play against his former team, but he’ll be a game-time decision.
On Monday, Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls (12-15) are in Houston for a showdown.
The Rockets are 6-11 on the road this season, but only have two more away games before the All-Star Break. Both are against losing teams with games at the slumping Cleveland Cavs (10-19) and Toronto Raptors (14-15) in Tampa Bay next week.
“Nobody’s putting their head down and I’m telling them every day: ‘Keep fighting, don’t give up’,” said John Wall. “It’s a bump in the road, but always be the next man up and give ourselves a chance. All you can do is go out there and play hard. That’s all we’re doing right now.”
If you faded the Rockets every game this season, you’d be ahead because the Rockets are 11-17 against the spread and tied for the third-worst ATS record in the NBA. During their losing streak, Houston went 1-6 ATS. If you like betting unders, the Rockets are the third-best in the NBA with the under hitting 16 times with a 16-11-1 clip.