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Schedule, exhaustion and defensive disarray to blame In latest loss

Houston's fifth game in seven nights came after disastrous losses to San Antonio and OKC. Even James Harden's heroics couldn't overcome that reality.

The exhausted Rockets lost by a single point to Washington
The exhausted Rockets lost by a single point to Washington
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The referees were not to blame. Yes, I said it.

Any sequence in Saturday night's loss to the Washington Wizards could have gone differently. Dwight Howard's ejection, James Harden's last drive or Josh Smith's put back; a different outcome to any event could have resulted in a Rockets win instead of a 123-122 loss.

James Harden's 40 points were heroic, but the Houston defense failed the team once again. ESPN's Calvin Watkins reported the Rockets allowed Washington to attempt 53 uncontested shots.

Tired legs were very likely the culprit for allowing the Houston defense to sag to a disappointing level we can categorize as catastrophic. The Rockets were playing their fifth game in seven nights on the second night of a back-to-back. The Rockets were coming off disastrous defeats to San Antonio and Oklahoma City where the men in red and yellow were barely able to summon a mention-worthy performance.

Those losses left the team in a state of disarray it was unlikely they would be able to recover from on such short notice. The benefactors of the schedule and Houston's continuing chaos... The Washington Wizards.

Yours truly predicted this game would be a "schedule loss" before the season started. I'm 2-2 on those predictions so far this season. I put more faith in the Wizards before the season started.