The Houston Rockets came into this NBA season with a lot of optimism, and how could they not. Houston won 65 games last season, which was the best record in basketball, and was possibly a Chris Paul injury away from beating the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. That was last year.
So far this season, things have changed for the Rockets. After 23 games, the Rockets are 11-12. With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute gone, and with the failed Carmelo Anthony experiment, the Rockets are not playing the way they did last season.
While former Rocket Chucky Brown, who won a championship in Houston back in 1995, believes the Rockets can turn it around, he does not think the team will be as good as they were a year ago.
“I think they can turn it around. I don’t think they will have the year they had last year,” Brown recently told the Go4it podcast hosted by Paul Gant. “Trevor Ariza is gone. He was a big piece. I think they defended a lot better last year. I think they can turn it around and play better than what they been playing, but I don’t see them having the same type of year. I don’t see them going to the Western Conference Finals. I don’t see that.”
Chris Paul and James Harden have both missed time with injury this season, so you can look at that as one of the reasons for the slow start, but the Rockets had great chemistry last season and they don’t have that this season.
I think Brown’s assessment is correct. Houston will get better, but they don’t have the chemistry to have the success they had last season; at least not right now.
We will be talking sports and having fun doing it! We will be joined by former NBA player Chucky Brown, who will discuss the current NBA season, 1995 world champion Rockets and how they would stack up against the 90s Bulls, and his favorite place to party during his NBA career.
Brown played for 12 NBA teams during his career.
Show starts @ 7pmest!
Last season, the Houston Rockets were one game away from the NBA Finals, but unfortunately their star guard Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury. Ultimately, the Rockets would fall to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Coming into next season, the Rockets will look a little different. Gone are two key members of the 2017-18 team in Trevor Ariza(Suns) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute(Clippers). Both guys are 3-and-D players and both guys were a big reason Houston had the best record in the NBA last season. They were replaced by 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who struggled last season in OKC, and at age 34, some question how much he has left in the tank. But he could be motivated after what happened last season.
However, former NBA player Jamario Moon feels the Rockets were better off with Ariza:
“Me personally, I like them better with Trevor Ariza,” Moon recently told Paul Gant. “Because I like people that lock up on defense, and can still knock down some threes or knock down some open shots. “They’re not going to be bad because they got Carmelo, but me personally, I like them better with Trevor Ariza.”
The Rockets are going to be contenders next season, but it should be interesting to see if Anthony will mesh with this team.
The Houston Rockets did something that has not been done in a long time. They went into Oracle Arena and snapped the Warriors’ 16-game home playoff win streak to even up the Western Conference Finals at 2-2. Now, the Rockets head home with an opportunity to go up 3-2 on the Warriors.
ESPN’s Max Kellerman believes that Houston will win on Thursday night!
It is hard for me to believe that any team can beat the Warriors four times in seven games. I think the Warriors can lose Game 5 and still win the series. The Rockets won’t beat the Warriors in Oracle twice, but I could see Golden State winning in Houston one more time(Warriors won Game 1 in Houston). That one more time could be tonight or in Game 7.
Therefore, tonight’s game is a must-win for the Rockets.
Should be a great night in Houston!
For former NBA star Steve Francis, life after the NBA has been rough. Where did it go wrong for Francis? Well, some speculated drugs got the best of the 3x All-Star after Francis had a few run-ins with the law.
However, according to Francis, that was not the case.
Today, Francis set the record straight, and revealed that he sold drugs growing up:
“I had some dark days, no question,” Francis wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “And I know people were asking, “What the hell happened to Steve Francis?” But the hardest part was reading some bullsh__ on the Internet saying that I was on crack. When I thought about my grandmother reading that, or my kids reading that … that broke my heart. Listen, I sold crack when I was growing up. I’ll own up to that. But never in my life did I ever do crack.
“What happened to Steve Francis? I was drinking heavily, is what happened. And that can be just as bad. In the span of a few years I lost basketball, I lost my whole identity, and I lost my stepfather, who committed suicide.
“I just let go, man.”
Hopefully, Francis can get it right moving forward.
The Houston Rockets are playing some excellent basketball right now. Currently, the team is on a 16-game win streak, including their 122-112 victory over the Thunder last night in Oklahoma City.
Right now, Houston has the best record in the NBA, have an MVP caliber player in James Harden, and seem poised to make a long run in the playoffs.
While Houston has all the makings of a championship caliber team, some still have their doubts.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is one of them.
Here is what he had to say about the Rockets on ESPN’s First Take today:
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni will coach Team Stephen Curry in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Here’s the official announcement from the NBA:
A two-time NBA Coach of the Year, D’Antoni earned All-Star Game head coaching honors for the second time. As the Phoenix Suns’ head coach, he led the Western Conference past the Eastern Conference 153-132 in the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
The Rockets (34-13, .723) tonight clinched the best record in the West through games played on Sunday, Feb. 4 among the 14 conference teams with a head coach eligible for the 2018 All-Star Game. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was ineligible because he coached the West in last year’s All-Star Game.
Under a new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between conferences, each 2018 All-Star Game coach will lead the team that includes the captain from the same conference. D’Antoni and his staff will coach the All-Star team that features Golden State’s Stephen Curry as captain.
The eligible head coach of the team with the East’s best record through games of Feb. 4 will coach the All-Star team captained by the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James. Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is ineligible to coach Team LeBron because he led the East in last year’s All-Star Game.
D’Antoni, in his second season with Houston, has an 89-40 record (.690) as the Rockets’ coach. Last season, he was named the 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year after guiding Houston to a 55-27 record and the No. 3 playoff seed in the West. He was also voted Coach of the Year with Phoenix in 2004-05, when the Suns tied a team record with 62 victories. His career coaching record is 544-466 (.539) over 14 seasons with the Denver Nuggets, Suns, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Rockets.
Update: Here’s a statement from the NBA on the suspensions:
Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green have each been suspended two games without pay for entering the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room to confront a player from the opposing team, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred following the Clippers’ 113-102 win over the Rockets on Jan. 15 at Staples Center. During the league’s investigation, which included more than 20 interviews with executives, staff, coaches and players from both teams, as well as arena personnel, it was determined that Ariza and Green entered the Clippers’ locker room immediately after the game and engaged in a hostile, verbal altercation with several Clippers players. The league’s investigation further concluded that Rockets players, James Harden and Chris Paul, followed Ariza and Green into the corridor outside the locker room in an effort to defuse the situation, and accordingly, discipline is not warranted.
Ariza and Green will serve their suspensions during the Rockets next two games, Jan. 18 vs. Minnesota and Jan. 20 vs. Golden State.
Rockets G Chris Paul came back to Los Angeles to face his former the team the Clippers, but it was not very festive. Paul would get into it with his former Clipper teammate Blake Griffin, which reportedly led to the Rockets’ James Harden, Gerald Green, and Trevor Ariza trying to get into the Clippers’ locker room to confront Blake Griffin and Austin Rivers.
The Inside the NBA found this whole situation funny.
Their reaction was hilarious!
Take a look: