The Houston Rockets are looking to rebound after their tough loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday for the first time this season. The Rockets have lost six of their last eight games after their 106-96 defeat at the hands of Lebron James and the Lakers.
The loss was only one of the topics after Saturday night's game. We had an altercation between Tari Eason and Cam Reddish, and Coach Udoka and LeBron exchanged words that led to Udoka being ejected. After the game, Coach Udoka blasted his team for not being physical enough.
Monday, we heard from Coach Udoka and the Rockets for the first time since the physical and intense loss Saturday. Coach Udoka, Dillon Brooks and Jabari Smith spoke to the media after practice.
Coach Udoka was first and didn't go in-depth on the confrontation between Lebron and himself but did discuss further his frustration with the way the Rockets came out to play in the loss to the Lakers. Udoka also spoke about the difference in fouls called against the Rockets compared to the Lakers and how the Rockets have to adjust to the way the game is being called.
I asked Coach Udoka if some of his frustration from last game was from the way the game was called— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) December 4, 2023
“It’s been discrepancies at times definitely in free throws and even fouls”
Coach Udoka finished by saying most of his frustration was with his own team. pic.twitter.com/w0re22s5EH
As you can hear from the clip, even though Udoka was not happy with the calls in the game, he puts the most blame on his team for their lack of physicality in Saturday's loss. Udoka also talked about the team slipping in other areas and how they need to correct that ASAP.
One person had no problem giving his true feelings on the refs. Dillon Brooks didn't hold back on how he felt about the offcials in Saturday's game versus the Lakers.
Dillon Brooks was not a fan of the refs last game. Brooks on the Ime and LeBron confrontation— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) December 4, 2023
“The refs just let it get out of hand. Terrible group up there that was reffing” pic.twitter.com/YXm4djRZpK
Brooks went on to say “It’s a lot of agendas not for the game, it's ruining the game”. Brooks felt that the flow of the game was constantly being stopped because of bad officiating. Brooks has been in constant foul trouble the last couple of weeks as he has been the recipient of a quick whistle when defending some of the top players in the league.
Rockets were outshot 27-18 from the line, something that has become a common occurrence in Houston’s recent games.
Jabari Smith also spoke to the media and talked about Udoka's message to the team and his relationship with Alperen Sengun. I asked Smith about the chemistry between Sengun and himself.
I asked Jabari about the chemistry he is building with Alperen Sengun.— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) December 4, 2023
“In the long run we want to be teammates for a long time” pic.twitter.com/Dl4YMMMFmc
Over the last couple of seasons, Sengun and Smith have had some at times heated conversations on the court. Honestly, it isn't anything out of the ordinary when you have two competitive teammates. Smith acknowledged they both stay on each other to continue to improve, and Smith stated he wants to be teammates with Sengun for a long time.
Make sure to check out all the interviews on Rocket Fuel Podcast YouTube page.