Houston Rockets Need a Facilitator in a Bad Way

By Ryan Heckman


Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets, we have a problem. I know, I know. They’ve started off the season very well and prior to Thursday’s game, as I write this, sit at 4-1. But, they have one major weakness despite the impressive start in the early stages of this 2013 season.

The Rockets are currently ranked an abysmal 25th in the league with just 17.6 assists per game as a team. How does that happen to a team that ranks 4th in the NBA in scoring? Houston puts up over 109 points per game at the moment, but they can’t do it as a team?

Defensively, they aren’t at the level they need to be (currently 23rd) so for their success to be hinging on individual play and isolations is a very, very dangerous situation to be in. They might be winning now, but what happens when James Harden hits a cold streak in an important stretch? What if they endure a significant injury to someone like Chandler Parsons?

Who can step up and get guys involved offensively?

I can tell you what, it’s not going to be Patrick Beverly or Jeremy Lin — at least not right now. Both have not done enough to warrant the title of being a true point guard. In just over 31 minutes per game, Lin is averaging only 4.4 assists — and leading the team in that category.

Once again, how does this happen?

One of these point guards needs to step up and claim the role of the true starter. No more of this “two starting point guards” crap from head coach Kevin McHale. It can’t happen. This team needs a point guard who can be a leader and most importantly a facilitator. Harden is going to score the basketball. It can’t be his job to facilitate. Parsons is a similar type of player, he can’t play point forward.

The one area that the Rockets are lacking in right now is someone who can run the offense and get guys involved. Isolation play and creating your own shot will only take you so far. In the playoffs, it won’t work against tough defensive teams like the San Antonio Spurs or even the Memphis Grizzlies at their best.

Houston has to get this role taken care of before the rest of the league notices and takes them completely out of their game by implementing a defensive scheme to do so.

By the way, allow me to pat myself on the back for the impressive accomplishment of not mentioning Dwight Howard once in a Rockets column.

There goes that idea.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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