The Rockets are on a little bit of a roll lately, winners of seven of their last nine games. James Harden has continued to be James Harden, putting up 25-plus-point games (aside from the Nets game, that was an anomaly) like they are going out of style.
What's more, one of the better things that have come from this past nine games is the emergence of the Rockets' bench. At the start of the season, the bench was not playing well and it was shorthanded due to injuries.
Of late, with the team healthy and somewhat consistent, the bench has gotten into a groove. And it's not just one guy, the whole bench has been giving solid contributions.
"We've got guys on our bench who are very capable of scoring the ball, making plays for one another," coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, "I think we have a really good bench unit of guys that we can put out five at a time and they can gain you some ground."
Donatas Motiejunas getting closer and closer to getting back to where he was last year the Rockets have five solid players they can bring off the bench. Ty Lawson, Terrence Jones, Corey Brewer, and Marcus Thornton have all shown up very well in the past handful of games.
Lawson looks like he is being more aggressive and seems to be fitting off of the bench. Jones has moments where he plays well and can give you minutes when Howard is on the bench. Brewer is back to being the aggressive, hands-in-the-lane, scoring-on-the-fastbreak guy he was last year. And you just can't say enough about how big Thornton's hot shooting and understanding of the offense has been for the team.
"You add D-Mo back into that lineup once he gets his legs, they (the bench) have a guy they can feed the ball to in the post, that's 10-12 strong guys that coach is able to put in at any time," James Harden said.
Confidence and momentum is a hard thing to stop, and right now the bench has been riding high. At the start of the season, everyone pegged the Rockets with having one of the deepest teams in the league. After the hard fall to start the year, the Rockets are building the reputation that any player that comes in the game can help the team win. Not all teams can say that (looking at you, Clippers).