It can’t just be because I’m a biased Clippers fan, right? Here’s Ethan Rothstein—a writer for The Dream Shake, a Rockets site—in a conversation with Clipsnation:
You know that feeling in L.A. right now? Imagine the exact opposite of that. It’s not the fact that the Rockets are losing, it’s how their losing, with a seeming lack of 100 percent effort and focus.
Turning this around will have to come from two places: James Harden and the defensive end. Harden needs to step up his game on both sides of the court, in particularly. He’s playing the lazy defense we haven’t seen since last year, and is not making up for it on the offensive end. This is the worst he’s played over a seven-game stretch this year.
Mostly, the problems have been defensively. The Clippers have run roughshod through the Rockets’ defense. When Austin Rivers gets to the rim at will, it’s not because he’s good, it’s because the defense is bad. There were no answers for the CP3-Blake pick-and-roll. Everything was a mess.