Rockets big man Christian Wood thinks the team’s impressive turnaround is for real, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. The Rockets started the season 1-16, but had won seven in a row prior to Friday’s 123-114 loss to the Bucks. Wood admits he wasn’t necessarily expecting the winning streak, but believes in the team.
“A little surprising, but we’ve always believed,” Wood told ESPN on Friday. “We’ve always stayed together and always had that team chemistry. We know that we’re better than a 1-16 record and better than what we were showing. We never put our heads down. We just stayed together.
“I believe it’s real. Especially with Jalen Green being out, which is a key piece, points that [would be] on the board that are not. We’re still managing to win games. And with Kevin Porter Jr. out. I think we’re even better than we’re showing. We’re just clicking.”
The two young guards are sidelined with hamstring and thigh injuries, respectively.
Here’s more from Houston:
- The Rockets have benefited from excellent shooting from players like Eric Gordon, Garrison Mathews, and Armoni Brooks of late, Rahat Huq of The Houston Chronicle writes. Gordon has even been taking some mid-range shots, a relic of the past in Houston with its analytically driven approach. The shooting and ball movement has led to better spacing for the entire team, Huq notes.
- Ethan Fuller of BasketballNews.com writes that the Rockets have been successful with an unlikely group of heroes. He mentions Mathews, Brooks, and Jae’Sean Tate as being particularly noteworthy.
- Josh Christopher, the 24th overall pick of the 2021 draft, had a breakout performance on his 20th birthday on Wednesday, notes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Iko takes an in-depth look at Christopher’s development, stating that stints in the G League have been beneficial for the young rookie.
- Green says he’s “making good progress” in his recovery, but there’s still no timeline for his return, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.