Tonight, the Rockets are playing their fifth game in seven nights.
Tonight, the Rockets are starting their THIRD five-game road trip.
Tonight, the Rockets have been set up to fail.
Houston has now lost four of their last six, which most certainly coincides with the brutal start of this stretch. The loss to Miami shouldn’t have occurred, but it happens. Teams lose, especially on the road.
The bigger issue is that this Rockets team doesn’t resemble the one from December except in spurts. Sure, after a rough first quarter they took care of business with the Bucks and turned it on in the second half to run away in Brooklyn, but suddenly the Rockets look like the team from the beginning of the season and not the one we’ve come to expect lately.
The exhaustion has not helped. The Rockets have played more games (46) than most teams and more road games (24) than all but Portland. And they’re about to play five more roadies. Of course tired legs were going to hit, but boy is the schedule not doing them any favors. Now would be a nice time for a long homestand to get some practice in and some time with friends and family.
Those early-season road trips helped the Rockets come together as a team and bond. Houston went 3-2 and 4-1 on those trips, including wins over the Spurs and Warriors. Hopefully this trip can rejuvenate them and reapply that “Us against the world” chip they had on their shoulders early in the season.
Here’s the road trip:
Tonight: in Memphis (only West team Houston hasn’t beaten)
Monday: in Milwaukee (revenge game and lots of Bucks played poorly)
Wednesday: in Boston (Isaiah Thomas is amazing and Celtics are just 1.5 back of 2 seed)
Friday: in Philadelphia (8-2 in their last 10 and easily the best story in basketball at the moment)
Sunday: in Indiana (Pacers are 16-5 at home)
If you offered me 3-2 on this trip I would take it in a heartbeat. I’m going to predict a 2-3 road trip (losses in Memphis, Boston, and Indiana).
What say you?
Tip-off is at 7pm CT.
Because it’s the last trip to Memphis, we’ll go with old reliable here. We went with Johnny Rivers last time doing his cover of “Memphis, Tennessee” and that didn’t work (despite being a great song). So we’ll touch down in the land of Delta blues with Marc Cohn for tonight.