The Houston Rockets find themselves undefeated in 2014. Well, let’s just say they have won the only game they have played in the New Year. A 22-13 record in the Western Conference is only good for sixth place, but they are only half a game back from fourth place. Why is that so important before the All-Star break? Outside of the top three teams (OKC, San Antonio, and Portland), the West is too competitive to take any games off. In the Rockets next three games, two of the teams have a losing record. The other will be without their best player. Here are top three things Houston must do this week:
1. Pass the Ball Better
In their last three games they have averaged a paltry 13.3 assists, well below their season average of 20.1. They’re already ranked 24th in the league for assists, so to go lower than that is not going to work. No team that Dwight Howard has been on has averaged such a low number.
2. Don’t Forget About Dwight
This past week Dwight Howard has scored 30 points combined in two games. James Harden has scored a 75 points in the same time frame. Howard has taken 20 shots from the field, while Harden has attempted 45. The big man is making a higher percentage of his shots, 55% to 48%. Long stat story short, give Dwight the ball.
3. Get the Bench Going
Houston’s depth was a strength of this team until last week. No bench player scored double digits last week. Coach McHale is playing Aaron Brooks, Omri Casspi, and Francisco Garcia big minutes and is getting no production. The entire bench averaged 13.5 points in the last two games.
1/8 vs Lakers 7:00 PM
1/10 @Hawks 6:30 PM
1/11 @Wizards 6:00 PM