Houston Rockets: Poor Shooting Leads to 5th Straight Loss After Promising Start to 2013

By Jeff Shull
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the first four games of the 2013 calender year, the Houston Rockets have found themselves in a major shooting slump, which has led to this season-long five-game losing streak after their loss to the Dallas Mavericks tonight.

In four of their previous five games, they’ve shot under their current shooting percentage of 46.0, under their three-point percentage of 35.4 and scored less than their league leading average of 105 points per game. They’ve also shot poorly from the free throw line in three of the last five games, including an embarrassing 12-29 effort against the Boston Celtics.

Nobody is kidding themselves: the Rockets have to score in bunches or they won’t win games. They cannot stop anyone to save their lives on defense, and the only way they’ve been successful is when they push the pace. Not much has changed over the past five games stylistically, but they’re marred in a god-awful shooting slump and desperately need to figure a way out of it.

Kevin McHale might also benefit from giving James Harden some rest. He missed some free throws and open layups down the stretch against the Mavericks tonight, telling me he might have exhausted legs.

Tired legs = poor shooting.

The problem is also that Jeremy Lin continues to struggle from the floor and has been a liability on both sides of the ball. His defense is never going to get better, but he was brought in for his offensive prowess he showed in the limited minutes with the New York Knicks last season. He’s shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from three-point land. What’s even more alarming is the 61.9 percent from the free throw line.

Clearly something isn’t working with this offense for Lin, and it may be time for him to change his role in it. He needs to be more of a facilitator and only look to score by driving to the basket. Only good can come from this, as it would collapse the defense and create opportunities for the sharp shooters on the outside.

Jeff Shull is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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