(Note: Started writing this article midway through the third quarter of game five)
From the moment the 2015-2016 Houston Rockets season started, it was apparent this squad was different than the group that completed a 3-1 comeback against the Los Angeles Clippers and lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Houston started the season lost on defense and unable to score outside of their one superstar. They ended their season last night in the exact same fashion.
82 regular season games and five playoff games and this team looked exactly the same the whole way through. Honestly, it’s pretty impressive the Rockets were able to stay consistent in such a poor way all season long and still make the playoffs.
GM Daryl Morey decided Kevin McHale was a part of the problem just 11 games into the season and…was…wrong to say the least. Interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff took over and didn’t do much better, potentially worse.
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Making the playoffs at 41-41 was the right “decision”, as if it was a choice. The Rockets’ 1st round pick went to Denver since it was only lottery-protected. So by making the playoffs, the Rockets chose this destiny over the 14th pick. Well, Utah also decided they didn’t want the playoffs themselves.
Anyway, that was the right “decision” in my opinion, as making the playoffs is good for the organization and its players. Others will argue, and I understand the argument, but I’d still rather my team have a chance in the end of season tournament.
And even though the Rockets were destined to play the historic Warriors, they were still given a chance. Likely MVP Stephen Curry injured his ankle and then knee and missed more than half of the series. Yet somehow, Houston was unable to capitalize.
Losing game two without Steph was the writing on the wall, and losing game four with a tied up game at the half in Houston and no Steph was the icing on the cake.
The Rockets lost this series the same way they lost in November. Their shooters couldn’t shoot and their big man failed them in the post. Dwight’s numbers actually looked good this series, but his offensive game is so poor down low and it’s evident he’s not playing at 100 percent.
Game 5 showed Morey and the fans that this team needs a major facelift. Morey clearly wants shooters that can…well…shoot and there was not one knockdown shooter in a red uniform.
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Trevor Ariza couldn’t hit the ocean this series and Patrick Beverley wasn’t much better. Donatas Motiejunas wasn’t able to play defense against the Warriors’ smaller fours and no bench player stepped up. James Harden did all he can to carry the team on his back but received little to no help all season long.
It’ll be blown up soon. J.B. Bickerstaff is likely fired sometime today, tomorrow, this weekend or in May. He was dealt a tough hand but he shot himself in the foot much of the season, consistently giving playing time to
veterans Corey Brewer and Jason Terry over K.J. McDaniels and Andrew Goudelock.
There’s a lot of blame to go around, but that’s all for a different time. Last night was much of the same we’ve seen the whole season,
It was a frustrating ride that’s finally over. About damn time.
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