This season expects to be the beginning of Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas. And his team’s transition to the NBA, with four first-round drafts, picks, and a third-year starter at point guard with no previous NBA experience.
In the end, precisely what occurred happened, as Houston Rockets concluded. The season with the most unfortunate record in the league (20-62) for the second time in three years. That means a top-five choice in the NBA draft in 2022.
Rookie point guard Jalen Green’s improvement. And his unprecedented 30-point scoring spree at the season’s end was only one of many highlights. Despite poor performance in several statistical categories. Houston Rockets as a team ranked at or near the bottom of the league.
Houston Rockets Offensive Rating
More offensively, the Houston Rockets outperformed four of their draft lottery rivals (Portland, Detroit, Orlando, and Oklahoma City). Given the steeper learning curve on defense, it’s hardly surprising. That the rebuilding Houston Rockets have a superior offense than the rest of the NBA’s young players. It is also important to note that Houston Rockets best-established player in the 2021-22 season is Christian Wood. Whose productivity favors offensive.
In the last seven rounds, Houston Rockets offensive rating increased from 22nd to 21st as the veterans (Wood, Eric Gordon, Dennis Schroder) rested. And the younger players (Kevin Porter Jr. and Alperen Sengun) assumed more of the playmaking responsibilities. That’s a small sample size but it might give the Houston Rockets optimism if they deal with a few veterans this summer.
Houston Defensive Rating
No surprise that a young squad without much interior rim protection (Wood) performed poorly on defense. After the All-Star break in February, the Houston Rockets’ defensive rating rose to 23rd in the league. At the moment in the season when many lottery teams have become psychologically drained. Silas showed that his team was still motivated and playing hard. Which gives promise to young guys like Porter and Green that they are maturing defensively.
The Rockets finished the NBA season with a net rating that placed them 26th out of 30 teams (Detroit, -0.7). (Portland, -9.1). But the Trail Blazers (27-55), who ended seven games ahead of the Houston Rockets. In the overall standings, did so mainly due to their early-season success with experienced studs Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum leading the way.
Houston swept Portland in late March, despite Portland’s (unofficial) conversion to tank mode to improve its draft chances, showing that they were the NBA’s weakest club when they made the transition. The benefit of the Rockets and their No. 1 draft lottery berth in 2022, the Trail Blazers had built up too large of a lead before that shift.
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