The Houston Rockets have been one of the more intriguing teams this season. After experiencing high levels of success for five straight seasons, yet never reaching the finals, Daryl Morey realized it was time for a change; a big change.
This season, the Rockets are a team that has bought into the concept of small-ball from the jump. Seeming as they just wanted to allow James Harden and Russell Westbrook isolate, and kick out to shooters, Clint Capela became an outlier offensively.
Even defensively with their switch-everything scheme, Capela wasn’t the perfect fit. Even though he is one of the better perimeter-defending big men in the league, teams still hunted the miss-match to get Capela on a guard at the top.
In early February, the Rockets dive head-first into the pool of extreme small ball. Throwing out a starting lineup which consisted of 6’5″ P.J. Tucker guarding opposing team’s centers, and 6’7″ Robert Covington as the team’s tallest player.
Houston hit the ground running, getting off to a 7-2 start in their first nine games with Robert Covington. Since then, they tailed off a bit, going on a four-game losing streak, and finishing with an 8-6 record with their new-look before the suspension.
Now with the long break in play, every team will come into the remainder of the season hungrier, and more ready to play than ever. However, the Houston Rockets may benefit more than anyone from this break in play.