As the calendar turns to December, there’s only one thing we know for certain about the Houston Rockets:
They are a better team when they are healthy.
Chris Paul came back and Houston returned to their winning ways. This was neither a coincidence nor an accident. The Rockets are top-heavy. It’s how they were built. As currently constructed, Houston has six solid rotation players and two or three guys who can fill in when needed but cannot contribute consistently. That’s not too bad in the playoffs (it’s not great then either), but during the regular season, depth is what keeps teams primed for success.
Last season, Houston has decent depth coming into the year, then signed Gerald Green and added pieces in the buyout market. That allowed them to not waste so many minutes on Trevor Ariza and P.J. Tucker and Chris Paul. Now, Houston has one bench player, when really they need four. Mike D’Antoni is never going to stretch his rotation to 12 guys, but if Houston doesn’t find consistent contribution from the bench brigade, they will have to depend their entire season on Chris Paul, James Harden, Eric Gordon, James Ennis III, Tucker, and Clint Capela staying healthy all the way until April.
Would you take that bet? Because I wouldn’t.
Oh, this is supposed to be a little bit about the Chicago Bulls, tonight’s opponent. Um, the Bulls are 5-18. If Houston loses, then the roller coaster continues. If they win, we get to ride high for a couple more days.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT