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Why Watching James Harden and These Rockets is Unbearable

The first 12% of the season is over and the Rockets haven't found their fight.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I kept thinking if we could just get one over the Mavericks, we'd be at 5 and 5 and we could reset. But no chance. Not with the way things are going. The Rockets look horrible and here are some reasons why.

1. This Ty Lawson experiment is going to drive me to drink. So far he's down across the board when compared to his career averages. He's barely getting more assists than James Harden. He's shooting a ridiculously low 31% from the field and 28% from behind the arc. The Harden/Lawson balance is all out of whack. Both of them are suffering through this Lawson integration. Something has to give. They are playing too many minutes together. I'd rather see Pat Beverley starting and James with the ball more. James is deferring too often with Lawson in the game.

2. But, James isn't only deferring because Lawson is in the game.  He's deferring because he can't shoot. James is shooting 38% from the field and a horrific 24% from three. Though he is still shooting ten of them a game. Again, it's live or die with James. Last year was acceptable, though this year it may not be. James hasn't been getting the calls like last year and he's frustrated. The ball will fall (please?) but when?

3. Small ball isn't working on either end of the floor. Small ball only works when the spacing on the floor leads to easy three's. Here's how we are shooting from behind the arc: Corey Brewer is shooting 19%, Trevor Ariza is shooting 23%, Jason Terry is shooting 29%, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Thornton are at 37%.  When you add in Harden and Lawson's numbers, we're lucky to be 4 and 6. We can't get away with starting Thornton, Ariza and Capela across the front line against too many teams.

4. Defense. The Rockets are 27th in the league in points given up. They are 27th in opponent's three point percentage. They are getting eaten alive on the inside. Watching second year, skinny Capela with only Thornton and Ariza to back him up is frightening. Who is holding down the middle? I hope Morey is scheming. Even with our small ball lineups, other teams are out-hustling us for easy fast point buckets and McHale can't seem to do anything about it.

5. Giving Dwight all these games off has to change. The Rockets can't afford to stack up multiple losses in the packed Western Conference. Dwight has been one of the bright spots to start this season, but he's already missed 40% of the games. We can't afford to leave 16 and 12 on the bench any night right now. His PER is a ridiculous 24.73. Maybe if we get some wins under our belt, but now is not the time. Can we at least wait until D Mo is back? I mean, even Terrence Jones has only played in five games. Whose idea is this anyway?

McHale said last night that he couldn't imagine it could get much worse than that. Well think again Kevin. It's very likely that it will get much worse if these things aren't addressed. What do you think is going on? Leave me your comments.