Three games is usually too small of a sample size to have any significant consequence or even to give any notable takeaways. Anything can happen in the span of three games.
A role player might have a three-game stretch where they look like a superstar. A superstar could have a bad week that results in three straight stinkers only to catch fire again for the rest of the season. A team can go from 0-3 to 3-3 in the blink of an eye.
That being said, through three games, things don’t appear to be going the way the Houston Rockets thought they would when they carried out this previous offseason. This past summer, the Rockets made it clear that they intended to compete for a Play-In Tournament spot with their transactions.
They made two of the most high-profile signings by handing Fred VanVleet a three-year, $128 million contract and Dillon Brooks a four-year, $86 million deal.
Doling out two of the most handsome contracts in free agency to storied NBA veterans isn’t something that a team does when they expect to be competing for the number one overall pick.
But, through three games, the Rockets certainly look closer to a team hoping to maximize their draft lottery chances than one aiming for a postseason appearance.
It’s clearly time for Head Coach Ime Udoka and the Rockets to prioritize their young talent and the development of their prospects over winning games in the short-term present. It’s not because Houston can’t turn things around after an 0-3 start.
It’s actually because accelerating the growth of Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., and their other youthful stars is the only way to maximize their chances for the rest of the season.
|23-2024 Stats Houston Rockets|
|Last game||Next game||Record||Championship odds|
|W 122- 97 vs SAC||Nov. 8 vs. LAL||3-3 / 8th WC||+35000|
It was always known that FVV and Brooks wouldn’t turn the Rockets into a playoff team on their own. The entire idea was to add capable veteran talent around Houston’s blue-chip prospects and bank on their internal development to take them over the hump.
They had no chance at the playoffs or even the Play-In Tournament if Green, Smith Jr., and their other young players didn’t show significant signs of growth this season.
It seems like Houston isn’t quite ready to play competitive team basketball yet. Green, Smith Jr., and their other prospects still appear to need spoon-feeding and individualized game plans for them to succeed. The Rockets should allow them that situation to foster their games until they’re truly ready to compete.
It might not take very long, but Houston needs to prioritize their growth as soon as possible if they still want to save their season.
.@alperennsengun orchestrated a career high against the Kings 🪄
He has now tied Hakeem Olajuwon for the #Rockets single game record for assists by a center!
📊 17 PTS | 8 REB | 12 AST (career high) pic.twitter.com/sxrEQwxpQZ
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 7, 2023
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| Title: The Houston Rockets need to change directions
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: Nov 8, 2023