The Houston Rockets practice on New Year's Eve as they prepare to take on the Detroit Pistons who surprise surprise are on a one-game winning streak (I guess it's not a streak if it’s one game, but better than a 28-game losing streak). The Rockets are coming off three straight home losses after starting the season as one of the best home teams in the league.
The Pistons, who set the record for most losses in a row in NBA history, are coming in after snapping that streak Saturday night with a 129-127 victory over the Toronto Raptors. It's a huge weight off of the Rockets’ shoulders to not potentially be the team that the Pistons snap their losing streak against. Still, it doesn't make the New Year matchup any easier as surprisingly, despite the losses, the Pistons have had leads in several games, including almost knocking off the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics.
After today's practice, Coach Udoka, Jae’Sean Tate and Jeff Green spoke to the media.
I asked Coach Udoka what would it take for players like Cam Whitmore (who is coming off a DNP) to get more playing time.
“Consistency across the board.”
After today’s practice I asked Coach Udoka what will it take for Cam Whitmore to get more consistent minutes especially with Brooks and Smith out.— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) December 31, 2023
“Consistency across the board” pic.twitter.com/zV0IMIusTZ
Coach Udoka has preached consistency all season, and he made it clear that is what he wants from Whitmore on both sides of the court. Even with both Jabari Smith and Dillon Brooks out, Whitmore did not see the court in the Rockets’ loss to the 76ers.
I also asked Coach Udoka about Jalen Green’s recent strong play.
I also asked what has been the difference for Jalen Green the last couple of games where he has played his best basketball in the last month.— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) December 31, 2023
His aggressiveness obviously in the games has been different ”
Full interview on the YouTube page https://t.co/KiWZ3rakvp pic.twitter.com/zAA1bsVqYb
Coach Udoka mentioned that Jalen Green's 30-point game vs the 76ers was one of his better overall games of the season after struggling for the last month. Coach Udoka hasn't lost confidence in Green even when he was struggling, and it seems that confidence has paid off.
Jae’Sean Tate also spoke to the media and talked about how the Rockets felt after they snapped their 20-game losing streak, which funny enough, happened against the Raptors, the same team the Pistons ended their 28-game losing streak against.
Tate talks about how the Rockets felt after ending their 20 game losing streak which funny enough ended against the Raptors just like the Pistons losing streak.— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) December 31, 2023
“ I know we were excited” pic.twitter.com/AMtFnGQ7dX
If anyone knows how the Pistons feel, it is the Rockets, who have dealt with multiple long losing streaks the previous three seasons before they started to turn it around this season.
The Rockets take on the Pistons on New Year's Day as they attempt to end their losing streak. To check out the full interviews go over to my YouTube page Rocket Fuel Pod.