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Rockets look to get back on track against Atlanta

The Rockets take on the Hawks at home, and it's gut check time.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

A tumultuous season continues tonight, as the Rockets look to get back in the win column at home after a disappointing 110-108 loss to the Pelicans.

Even bigger than the loss was the aftermath of the loss, when coach J.B. Bickerstaff deservedly put his squad of underachievers on public blast for their lack of effort and professionalism.

Even bigger than the call-out is that there's very real evidence the coach is referring to the Rockets' most important player.

This is coming mere weeks after trade rumors touched everyone from Dwight Howard to Ty Lawson, to Corey Brewer and Terrence Jones.

It feels like this thing is reaching a crescendo. Can the Rockets use the frustration and turmoil to finally come together? They'll have to do it against a very good 20-13 Hawks team. Then the Warriors on New Year's Eve?

It's gut check time for Houston.

Make sure to check out AK's preview if you haven't yet.