Could it be that the sacking of Kevin McHale is just a cover-up of what is really bothering the Rockets in Houston?
The Rockets may have lost a number of consecutive games but it’s the players who execute. It’s just the coach who draws the play. It is up to the players to deliver on court.
James Harden is one of the pillars of the Rockets but his on-court play and moves may be a factor as to why teamwork is not evident in the Houston camp.
The 26-year-old Harden is averaging 27.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game but has since been struggling in making his shots from the field. He’s been making 37.2percent of his shots, with just 26.2 percent from beyond the arc on at least nine attempts per outing.
His defense also dipped this year, a far cry from his impressive stance in their Western Conference Finals run last year.
It was observed that he wasn’t that proactive in 2014. He changed and worked hard to improve. The change was evident, that is why the regression on his game this season so far is evident especially in their losses.
It was also reported that during the players-only meeting last Tuesday, James was also scrutinized for his sloppy games.
He is one of the factors as to why the Rockets win games. If only James could improve ‘again’ and bring back the old James from last season, his teammates could follow suit and play with tenacity in order to get back on track.
In terms of defense, the Rockets are at the 29th spot, just a bit ahead of the depleted New Orleans Pelicans. The Houston camp for a while thought that Kevin McHale was the problem. Mchale, who spent over four seasons with Houston was fired on Wednesday. He was replaced by then assistant coach J.B Bickerstaff. Though it’s just for an interim basis for now, the young Bickerstaff is the brain behind Houston’s top-10 defense last season that worked well for the team.
The daunting task for Bickerstaff now is to turn the team around.
A good motivator seems to be lacking in the Houston camp. Last year, the team was thriving with high energy but this year, it’s a lot different.
Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said, “It’s not just losing. It’s not just the 4-7 slate. It’s the way we are losing, by how much, and by how the team is responding.”
“We are losing to teams we should be able to beat by double digits. I believe this team is a championship contender.”
Changes are still expected from the Houston camp until they become their title-contending selves again.