After Tuesday night’s loss to Portland, the Houston Rockets are 1-5. That ties them with the Phoenix Suns for the worst record out West. But to a certain extend, their early-season slump is understandable. After all, injuries and suspensions are ravaging their team. Though, more so injuries than suspensions. And head coach Mike D’Antoni knows what’s really ailing them.
“Right now, we’re playing like crap,” D’Antoni told reporters following the loss. “We’re just not playing well. You know, I don’t have a whole lot of answers for you now. We’ll look, and we’ll fight it.”
Last season, the Rockets went 65-17 en route to one of the best regular seasons in NBA history. But then came the Warriors, and a Chris Paul injury, which saw their season end in the Western Conference Finals after seven games.
“We’ve lost our swagger and we’re on our heels,” D’Antoni adds.
Right now, they’re not getting it done on either side of the ball. They’re averaging just 106 points per game, third-lowest out West. And they’re allowing 116.3 points per game, which places them in the middle of the pack. That season, Houston had a top-five defense. But right now, they are very far away from that team.
Up next, they face the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. On paper, that should be win No. 2. And yet…