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How the Houston Rockets Can Save Their Season

a basketball player with a basketball in one hand, in dribble stance, and a basketball hoop in the background of the image

With Houston being located so close to our apartments in Magnolia, TX, we here at The Estates Woodland are huge Rockets fans. Coming into this season, there were some understandably high expectations for the Houston Rockets. However, after losing a few key rotation pieces, Houston has not had the type of punch that they did last season. Is there anything that can be done to salvage the season and challenge the Golden State Warriors? We think so!

Led by superstars James Harden and Chris Paul, the offense has been pretty solid this year. They’re not dominating like last year, but still very good. Anytime you have two of the best players in the league on your team, your offense is sure to have some level of success. Where the team has really dropped off has been on the defensive side of the ball. Losing Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns and Luc Mbah a Moute to the Los Angeles Clippers in the off-season has hurt this team more than anyone saw coming. Their perimeter defense has been sorely missed on this Rockets team that is desperate for anyone outside of PJ Tucker to actually compete against opposing perimeter players. So how can the Rockets supplement the loss of these key rotation pieces? There are two solutions.

The first solution is one less likely to happen. The Rockets could solve their defensive issues by acquiring a new player. Around the trade deadline in the middle of February, there are sure to be some good options available, including old friend Trevor Ariza. However, the Rockets have little salary cap space available to add players and a limited number of players that can be traded away to create additional cap space. If the Rockets want to add a player, they will likely have to peruse the eventual buyout market for a player like Jared Dudley or DeMarre Carroll who could be bought out of their current contract and sign at a minimum salary with the Rockets.

The more likely solution is one that’s going to have to come internally. This solution doesn’t solve the defense so much as ignore them, but it might be the necessary route. The Rockets need to score more points. They can do this by pushing the pace and trying to play even faster. Likely, it will have to mean fewer minutes for older players like Chris Paul and PJ Tucker since the accelerated pace will drain them faster than the younger guys, but it’s a necessary risk if they want to have a shot to win this year. With young, athletic players like Gary Clark, Brandon Knight, Clint Capela, and James Ennis, they’ll have plenty of legs to keep everyone fresh.

What do you think? Can the Rockets challenge the Warriors this year, or should they wait until next season to try to compete? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading our blog!

Disclaimer: The Estates Woodland is not located in or part of The Woodlands® development. The Woodlands® is a registered trademark of The Woodlands Land Development Company, LP.