Advertisement

What to make of the Rockets’ wild weekend

Advertisement

It was another losing week for the Rockets, but the real story was the news that hit the headlines on Saturday night following the loss to Denver (more details below). The Rockets were clubbed by Charlotte, before falling more respectably against the Lakers, Heat and Nuggets. The losing streak now sits at seven. I feel like the other day I was agonized over the seven-game winning streak, lifting the team to respectability, a place of play and away from. a first choice in the draft. The Rockets (10-27) still sit with the Pistons (6-28) and Magic (7-30) with a 52.1% chance of being in the top four and a 14% chance of being the first. These last two teams are unlikely to give up their places anytime soon. The Thunder and Pelicans are looming, both at 13-23, but 5-5 and 6-4 in their last 10 games, respectively. It’s a chance for Houston!

Houston Rockets goalie Jalen Green (0) walks past Miami Heat goalie Tyler Herro (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Toyota Center on Friday, December 31, 2021 in Houston.
Houston Rockets goalie Jalen Green (0) walks past Miami Heat goalie Tyler Herro (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Toyota Center on Friday, December 31, 2021 in Houston.Karen Warren / Staff Photographer

Jalen Green scored 29 points in just 28 minutes in Saturday’s loss, shooting 6-on-13 from the field and 5-on-8-to-3. In his four games since returning from the hamstring injury that took him to the field. sidelined for nearly a month, Green averaged 22.3 points in 29.7 minutes per game, shooting 48.1 percent from the ground and an absolutely scorching 51.5 percent from 3 on. 8.3 attempts per night. While those shooting percentages will undoubtedly regress a bit, it is all extremely encouraging and in line with what the Boy Scouts had in mind when he was thrown to the top of such a busy draft class.

For comparison, Green started the year averaging just 14 points per game in his 30.8 minutes, shooting just 38.2% from the ground and 27.8% from 3.go a leads many people to rush to judge Houston’s β€œmistake”. We won’t know for at least a few years who becomes the top player between Green and Mobley, but at least for now, Green is starting to look like the high-scoring Dynamo Scouts had projected him to become at this level. It is extremely exciting.

The Porter and Wood Show, Saturday evening

Christian Wood (left) and Kevin Porter Jr. had an eventful Saturday night when the Rockets lost to the Nuggets.

Christian Wood (left) and Kevin Porter Jr. had an eventful Saturday night when the Rockets lost to the Nuggets.

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By now you know the multiple reports (Houston Chronicle, The Athletic, ESPN) of what happened Saturday night at halftime: Kevin Porter Jr., got in his car and left the arena after a exchange with John Lucas while Christian Wood refused to replace to come back in the match in the second half.

I don’t see the Wood part of the equation as a development, but maybe that’s because I had moved emotionally from considering the great man as part of the future of the team some time ago. time already. The significance though is that as the team look to move Wood near the deadline, this incident may not be of value to its business value in the eyes of playoff contenders. I don’t think a real competitor would be willing to sacrifice any major strengths of any importance to acquire Wood at this point. It really raises the question of whether the Rockets should just keep him for the rest of the year and re-evaluate things in the summer. I still maintain that it wouldn’t be wise to commit long term money to Wood, not because of this offense but because of my lack of confidence in his suitability with rookie Alperen Sengun.


Porter’s situation is a bit more nuanced. The Cleveland Cavaliers completely ditched Porter after a similar explosion in 2020, ultimately trading him to Houston for what was essentially nothing. Maybe I forgive Porter because it was his first incident with Houston or maybe it’s because I still hope it works. He’s said all the right things so far, taking Green under his wing, even claiming in a recent interview (ironically) that he hoped the young rookie would learn from his (Porter’s) mistakes. He’s also made huge strides defensively and reducing his turnovers.

Maybe it doesn’t work with Porter either. Like Wood, the Rockets also have an upcoming financial decision in Porter’s case, although Porter may only become a restricted free agent (which essentially means the Rockets would have the right to match any offers.) I’ve been writing it for a while, one of the goals this season was for the franchise to determine if Porter could be their future playmaker and that’s why the mutual agreement to seat John Wall was made first. place. I don’t know if anything has really changed in this regard. It was the first strike. In the meantime, the Rockets should simply continue to assess Porter to determine his abilities on the pitch and how they fit into the larger framework of the team. If he has similar access, the franchise can re-evaluate. I’m not sure if anyone should rush for a judgment, even if right away from a single incident.

The coming week

The Rockets visit old friend Daryl Morey on Monday in a game against the 76ers, then head to John Wall’s former playground on Wednesday to take on the Wizards. They will end the week on Friday by welcoming the Mavericks home to the Toyota Center.



Advertisement

Leave a Comment