Life for the Rockets without James Harden has turned into a nightmare


Hit rockets for the Rockets.

While James Harden shows why he was worth all those draft picks to the Nets, the Rockets have crashed without their superstar.

The latest embarrassment came in Wednesday night’s 112-96 loss to the lowly Cavaliers, which was the team’s ninth straight loss. Six of those nine losses have been in the double digits.

“Our defense was not good and our offense was disjointed,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said after a brief news conference. “It wasn’t very good for everyone.”

Ironically, it was another part of that successful Nets-Rockets-Pacers-Cavaliers trade that made the difference in this one, with Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen looking for 26 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks.

“At 22, Jarrett is nowhere near his potential ceiling, and that’s the part that excites me the most,” Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff said. “He plays well with his teammates and knows they are looking for him.”

John Wall and the Rockets fight without James Harden
John Wall and the Rockets fight without James Harden
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Trading Harden, who forced the team to accept the deal, is just the beginning of the Rockets’ troubles. His three key players, John Wall, Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood, have missed time with injuries.

Harden, who is averaging 25 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds a night for the Nets, has played in 19 of 20 games since arriving in Brooklyn. His versatility – he played in more than 70 games in 11 of his 12 seasons – has been an overlooked part of his greatness.

The Rockets were actually thriving immediately after the trade, winning seven of eight games to go 11-10. But in the latest win of that streak, Wood suffered a severe ankle sprain that has sidelined him ever since.

“I’m used to playing a traditional big shot that rolls and pops, just like John, but we have to find a way to win,” said Oladipo, citing the specialty of the 6-foot-10 wood. who has been a revelation in his first season in Houston.

Wood said he thought the ankle was broken at first and hopes to return soon.

“It was definitely hard to deal with, at first,” Wood said of the injury. But then when I heard the news that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, I was grateful and grateful. It could have been worse “.

However, it can’t get much worse for the Rockets right now.

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