Bulls 103 Rockets 100 - Because, Rockets

Tonight, the Rockets blew a double digit lead against the Chicago Bulls. The team as a whole was shaky in the first half. They made scoring runs, but overall seemed really disjointed. But, after coming out of halftime tied, they played fantastic. They looked focused, but don't be fooled - they're great liars. After going up 14 points, the team collapsed. No one knew what to do. There were defensive breakdowns, there were bad turnovers, and there was no ball movement.

Corey Brewer continues to be a minus rotation player. D-Mo, as the team's starting power forward, doesn't seem to ever get playing time even when the team does well when he's on the court. The 4th quarter was just a complete disaster. It was a Clippers-esque collapse. You can go on and on to list all the mistakes until you're blue in the face, but it won't matter.  The Rockets' fate is a playoff elimination. It's only a matter of time. Whether it be from a first round or exit or not even making the playoffs at all, the summer will come. The offseason will come and be crucially important, because the Rockets are a bad basketball team. Aside from James Harden, they aren't talented, they aren't scrappy, and they aren't good.

James Harden played the entire second half again, and it looks like he's starting to wear down after all these minutes. Dwight Howard isn't a top 5 center anymore, as his athleticism and defense is at an all time low. Trevor Ariza's defense has fallen off a cliff and does nothing but shoot 3s on offense, and on the bench, guys like Terrence Jones, Josh Smith and Corey Brewer have somehow turned into some of the worst players in the league. Patrick Beverley might be the Houston's 3rd or 4th best player. What does that say about this roster? If Trevor Ariza had made the last corner three to tie it and go to overtime, would it have mattered in the grand scheme of things? This team is what it is at this point.

So, what exactly are the Rockets chasing at this point? What are they running James Harden into the ground for? To get the 8th seed? To get knocked out in the first round by a superior team while losing their first round draft pick to show for it? That doesn't sound like a great plan.

It's looking more and more likely that Dwight Howard is leaving this summer. This team needs to be revamped, and they can start that by keeping their first round draft pick. This variation of the team is dead. There is not an ounce of optimism to be had in this season. There is not a thing to do other than completely re-tool and come back next year.

However, if the Rockets brass wants to keep pushing for the playoffs, they need to stop playing Harden this much. He's averaging career highs in minutes and he's playing at an insane usage rate. They're lucky that he hasn't gotten hurt already.

It's March 31st, and Houston will still be the biggest joke in the NBA on April 1st. Because, Rockets.

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