Sports Illustrated

NBA Power Rankings: Rockets Are Rolling After James Harden Trade

Despite the early-season drama, the Rockets have been getting it done on the defensive end. Aside from the dominance of the two Los Angeles teams, the 2020–21 season hasn’t exactly gone as predicted through the first 20 games. The Mavericks are sliding as the Rockets surge without James Harden in the Western Conference, while in the East, the Heat and Raptors sit outside even the play-in tournament. Memphis is the No. 4 seed out West. The Hawks and Cavaliers are projected postseason teams. Save the spiel regarding small sample size for another time. For now, the playoff race remains wide open, with a slate of surprise teams crashing the party.
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The Dream Shake

Three observations from the Rockets’ victory over the Thunder

Here are three observations from the Houston Rockets’ 136-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Monday night, inside the Chesapeake Energy Arena. A fast start was pleasing to the eye of Stephen Silas. The Houston Rockets have been one of the hottest teams in the league for a variety of...
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Rockets hit 11 3s in 48-point first quarter, rout Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- — Eric Gordon scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets hit an NBA record-tying 11 3-pointers in a 48-point first quarter, cruising to a 136-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. John Wall scored the first eight points for the Rockets and finished with...
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NBA Power Rankings Week 6: The Rockets Are On Fire After The Harden Trade

For weeks, NBA observers were captivated by ongoing trade discussions involving James Harden. While only a handful of teams seemed to have a real chance to land the prolific guard, Harden is one of the best players in the league and, by extension, it is big news when he is on the move. Eventually, the deal transpired in mid-January, with the Houston Rockets sending Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a massive haul of assets. Immediately, the focus shifted to Brooklyn and how Harden would be integrated with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, while only die-hards and Rockets fans centered on the shift transpiring in Houston.

Here is what the Rockets reportedly want back in trade for PJ Tucker

After the Houston Rockets traded James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets, rival teams circled them as potential sellers before the trade deadline. The most likely player who many believed could potentially on the move is veteran PJ Tucker. The two parties have reportedly been unable to come to terms on a contract extension and multiple teams have called to inquire about his availability. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Kelly Iko, the 35-year-old is “not opposed” to a trade.
Houston Chronicle

Solomon: Rockets' Rafael Stone shows he can rebuild on the fly

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas had a conversation about the events that transpired shortly after they were hired. You know, the not-so-everyday occurrences of a team’s two best players demanding trades, then being traded?. Stone and Silas even managed to chuckle about it all. “I told...
Houston Chronicle

Rockets' 3-for-all is net result of better ball movement

The Rockets took down the Oklahoma City Thunder 136-106 on Monday night thanks to a shooting display the NBA had seen only once — and never before this season. On Dec. 29, the Milwaukee Bucks drained 29 3-pointers in a 144-97 win over the Miami Heat, setting the record for 3s made by a team in a game. The Rockets fell just short of matching that record Monday, hitting 28 of their own to break the franchise record while extending their winning streak to six games.
Houston Chronicle

Rockets plan team dinner, get history lesson

With the Rockets on their longest road trip of the first half schedule that has been announced, a players’ only dinner has been planned now that the league is again allowing some outings outside of a hotel on the road. “It’s great for those guys to get away from the...
SB Nation

How the Rockets turned back-to-back champions into a bunch of fed-up, beat-up, washed-up stars

In 1994 the Houston Rockets won the franchise’s first ever NBA championship. How’d they do it? Wellllllll, some would say they merely capitalized on Micheal Jordan leaving the sport for and then the top western seed Supersonics getting upset in the first round of the playoffs. And yeah, sure that stuff helped, but the Rockets were also pretty good.
Houston Chronicle

3-pointers: Takeaways from Rockets' win over Pelicans

There had been a time that if Stephen Silas said “it seems like every game there’s something new” he would not have been referring to good things. It actually was almost exactly what James Harden posted during the whole party appearance drama, with the exception of the part about the Rockets actually playing a game.
USA TODAY Sports Media Group

Houston Rockets player grades for the 2020-21 season so far

The Houston Rockets (9-9) have played 18 games of their 2020-21 regular season. With the schedule shortened to 72 games due to COVID-19, which pushed back the NBA calendar last year, they’re officially a quarter of the way through the season. Generally speaking, that sample size is significant enough to...
Houston Chronicle

Surging defense becoming a strength for Rockets

From the Rockets’ season opener against the Trail Blazers to Thursday’s game against the Blazers in Toyota Center, a weakness could be becoming a strength. The Rockets’ turnaround, with a season best three-game winning streak and four wins in the seven games since the trade of James Harden despite playing with two or three starters out for each game, has been largely built on improvement defensively.
Houston Chronicle

Rockets forging an identity while collecting W's

Back when the Rockets were changing lineups every game and losing most of them, coach Stephen Silas had concerns that went beyond the record. At 4-9, losing more often than winning was foremost on his mind, but he was still thinking big picture. He had wanted to establish an identity, a mindset his team would develop and maintain, win or lose. If South Beach were nearby, he could have called it a “culture.”
Houston Chronicle

3-pointers: Rockets overcoming season of adversity

When the Rockets opened the season, after the planned opener was postponed because they did not have enough players, they and the Trail Blazers produced a thriller. The Rockets only had nine healthy and available players. James Harden was spectacular, putting up his best numbers of the season. The game went to overtime before the Blazers won 128-126.

Eric Gordon excited by vibe, culture of improving Rockets

Having signed with Houston in July 2016, reserve guard Eric Gordon is the longest-tenured member of the 2020-21 Rockets. Over his five seasons in Houston, the peak likely came in 2018, when the Rockets (65-17) won the most regular-season games in franchise history and easily led the entire NBA. That squad, which was led by James Harden and Chris Paul, went to the Western Conference finals and was only a game away from knocking off eventual champion Golden State — only to have Paul’s hamstring go out at the worst time.