The poor play of the Rockets to start the season struck a chord with owner Leslie Alexander, but he admits changing coaches from Kevin McHale to interim boss J.B. Bickerstaff isn’t guaranteed to fix the team’s problems, as Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle relays.
“You don’t know for sure, right?” Alexander said. “But when you watch your team play and you know you’re going to lose … I knew I was going to lose the Boston game. I knew I was going to lose the Golden State game. I knew I was going to get crushed. I knew the way the players were playing, the way they were playing defensively. They weren’t playing hard, they weren’t running back. And they were sloppy. Their movements were sloppy. I knew we were going to lose.”
Still, myriad reasons, from injuries to poor shooting to roster moves that haven’t panned out, exist for Alexander to have drawn a different conclusion about the best way to turn the team around, Solomon posits. See more on the Rockets amid the latest from the Texas Triangle:
- The respective camps around James Harden and Dwight Howard each went into the 2014 offseason “whispering” about their desire to get rid of the other, and the stars have never truly meshed, writes Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. That neither has become a strong locker room leader is central to the Rockets‘ issues, Blinebury believes.
- The Spurs‘ offense has lagged alarmingly when the starting five has played, and while LaMarcus Aldridge, averaging only 14.8 points per game, rejects the notion that he should demand the ball more often, the Spurs didn’t sign him to reprise Tiago Splitter‘s role, argues Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Spurs coach/executive Gregg Popovich believes the ex-Blazer must find a balance between fitting in the team’s egalitarian system and rediscovering his own high-scoring game, McDonald notes.
- Trade acquisition Zaza Pachulia has meshed with Dirk Nowitzki on the inside, and that’s helped offset the sluggish 3-point shooting of the Mavs guards so far, fueling the team’s surprising 8-4 start, observes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.