Rockets Report: Jason Terry Sounds Off; Troubled By Team Play

For a minute there, I thought my Houston Rockets were back.

Did you see the game last night?

The team look great against an excellent Atlanta Hawks team but as the 4th quarter approached, the Rockets seemed to be like Cinderella and their carriage turned into a pumpkin.

They were looking like the bad Rockets again.

It’s mind-boggling too because this team maintained control of the game for the other three quarters and to witness how everything fell apart in 4th quarter.

The rotations were working, the three-ball was falling, Dwight Howard was getting more touches.

That usually is a recipe for this team’s success but all of that went away as the Hawks cranked up their defense and forced Howard to the line.

Essentially, what they did worked as the Rockets once again became the team on the outside looking-in and wondering what the hell just happened.

After J.B. Bickerstaff had spoken to the media about the Rockets inconsistent play, how this team disrespects the game and only playing the guys that are committed to his mantra, it appears the team is listening but some of the same problems still exist and may ever be able to be fixed.

Speaking of that, Jason Terry is the latest Rocket to voice his concern to the media in regard to the way the team is playing.

Terry told the Houston Chronicle’s Jenny Dial Creech that he’s surprised by the team’s up-and-down level of play this season.

Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s a wake-up call to have a performance like we did against San Antonio and then come back and follow that up with a poor performance against a New Orleans team that has struggled all season,” Terry said. “That was a big step backwards. We have to stop playing in these spurts.”

He also gave some reasoning as a result of the team’s struggles:

“For this group that accomplished so much last year, we had really high expectations this year,” Terry said. “But we have gone through some things- a coaching change, guys not being healthy, different lineups, so this is where we are.

“We are realistic – every team goes through things. Getting over the obstacles, that’s the challenge.”

He also added this:

“It is frustrating but it also makes me optimistic because I know what we are capable of doing.”

Now mind you, these comments were before the start of last night’s loss devastating 121-115 loss to the Hawks but I’m positive these comments still ring true with Terry are even more magnified because of how the Rockets lost last night.

But as of late, Bickerstaff sees Terry as part of the answer to this horrible riddle by giving him more minutes.

Ty Lawson‘s lackluster play has warranted the cause for this as opposed to last season when he had to step up because of Patrick Beverley‘s wild stretch of injury.

But here’s what Bickerstaff told NBA.com’s Fran Blinebury:

“I just feel like we need him on the floor,” Bickerstaff said. “There’s times where he needs the rest, obviously. But big moments in big games, he’s one of the guys that I trust the most.”

And rightfully so, Terry was key in the Rockets’ Christmas night win over the San Antonio Spurs hitting key bucket after bucket to keep the team ahead.

He added 12 points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting (2-for-2 3-point FG), 4-for-5 from the charity stripe and three steals in 17 minutes of action.

Once again, Terry the veteran is still integral and valuable key to this Rockets’ roster but unfortunately the latest team member to sound off about the woes.

But all in all, if the Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night in a New Year’s Eve match up, all of what just transpired over the past couple of days can be put to rest.

Terry, 38, is averaging 5.5 points, 1.0 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field 36.9 percent from three.  He also has shot 87.5 percent from the charity stripe in 16.0 minutes per game this season.

Go Rockets.