The Houston Rockets’ season got off to an embarrassing start when they lost their first three games by 20 points each, but it appeared the ship had been righted thanks to a four-game winning streak that included victories over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.
But now the Rockets have lost three straight games, and all three games were ones they should’ve won. The first defeat in this streak was an embarrassing loss at home to the hapless Brooklyn Nets, which is the Nets’ only win of the season to date. Then came a loss to the Denver Nuggets in which Ty Lawson put up a goose egg, and the latest debacle came against an undermanned Dallas Mavericks squad on Saturday night.
Here’s the starting lineup the Mavericks ran out:
The Mavericks used this starting lineup and somehow are up 12 against the Rockets at the end of the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/56eFoTo2Ac
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) November 15, 2015
No Dirk Nowitzki. No Chandler Parsons. No Wesley Matthews. Nevertheless, the Rockets fell behind the Zombie Mavs by as many as 26 points and ultimately loss by a final score of 110-98 in Houston. Raymond Felton and Charlie Villanueva led the way with 23 and 19 points, respectively. Seriously.
Simply put, this Rockets squad is a mess right now. James Harden shot 5-of-21 against Dallas to move to 37.1 percent overall and 24 percent from three. Ty Lawson has been a disaster. The defense is playing close to league-worst levels with Dwight Howard not at 100 percent and resting some games. The bench isn’t very good. It’s basically all bad at the moment for Houston.
Of course, it’s still very early, and there’s too much talent here for this to completely go off the rails. Harden will shoot better and Lawson, you’d think, will get more comfortable in his new digs. Perhaps a move to the bench is what’s needed for Lawson to get going.
But right now, this Rockets team stinks really bad. Kevin McHale needs to figure this thing out.