After another embarrassing loss, this time in the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Houston Rockets are on their way to breaking a dubious record.
As you can imagine, a franchise that’s just getting started has likely had a few lean years and the Rockets were no different. They finished the 1967-68 year 15-67. This Rockets team is likely to overtake that overall win and last year’s 17 wins. Even so, the Rockets’ defense has been like a leaky dam since the beginning of the year, and recently the rifts have grown even bigger.
The team is of course inexperienced, with several players 21 years and younger. This also applies to the chemistry on the pitch, where only five players from last year’s team come to this year’s team. The Rockets also lack legitimate rim protectors and multiple wings for defense on the outside. Factor all of this together, and the Rockets are well on their way for the worst defensive season in franchise history.
The numbers don’t lie. The defense is terrible.
If you look at the defensive numbers, you can immediately see why the Rockets are currently 11-30 in the season. The Rockets have the worst defensive rating in franchise history after losing last night at 115.4. This is after that mark was set at 114.9 last year.
Of course, overall performance can’t always be based on the defensive rating, but that number seems pretty accurate when you factor in the eye test.
That doesn’t even include the fact that the Rockets drop 116.5 points per game, making it the second worst in Rockets history after 116.7 last year. It’s been worse in the last three games as the Rockets drop 127.3 points per game.
On the Rockets’ regular starting line-up, Eric Gordon and Jae’Sean Tate are the only players you would consider plus defensemen. Yes, Kevin Porter Jr. has improved defensively this year but is prone to defensive mistakes. Christian Wood is decent at putting guards on but is not paint protection. Jalen Green is a rookie, and with that come rookie mistakes that are to be expected.
Coach Silas has to get the players across better in training, because if you don’t defend you don’t play who you are. The Rockets don’t have anyone good enough to take it on in defense, but no matter what.
In order for the Rockets to improve they need time, something that they cannot control, and more effort that is something under their control. Every player on the team has to try harder. That doesn’t take the pressure off the coaching staff who didn’t bring the right combination onto the pitch.