Clear Lake High School Newspaper

Clear Lake High School Newspaper

Clear Lake High School Newspaper


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The Rockets Massive Leap


The Houston Rockets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA the last few years, finishing bottom 2 in the Western Conference the last three seasons.

This season, however, Houston sits at 22-24 after a huge win against Lebron and the Lakers and are in striking distance of a playoff spot. So how have they made this massive improvement?

Defense. New head coach Ime Udoka brought his defensive expertise from his time as an assistant for the Boston Celtics. Encouraging the maximizing of players athletic tools and teaching new defensive techniques to current players are part of this defensive change, but the addition of all-defensive team member Dillon Brooks brought it all together. The Rockets have gone from second to last in defensive rating to 8th best in the league this year.

Leaps from the young players. Center Alperen Sengün has gone from promising young player to borderline star. The 21-year-old Turkish phenom is putting up 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists on 54% from the field. Third year guard Jalen Green seems to be turning the corner after his less-than-ideal start, averaging 29.3 ppg in his last 4 games, along with higher rebounding and assist numbers. Although it’s a small sample size and should be looked at as so, Green seems to be maturing as a player and utilizing his athleticism, driving to the basket more and taking smarter shots behind the arc. 2nd year players Jabari Smith and Tari Eason are also making their contributions, giving Houston one of the most promising young cores in the league.

New Players. The Rockets grabbed free agents Fred VanVleet and the aforementioned Dillon Brooks. Brooks adds a crucial 3 and D piece, while VanVleet provides elite passing from the guard position and (0ccasional) scoring juice with his volume 3-point shooting. Houston added two new players in the draft, Amen Thompson with insane athleticism and passing/defensive upside, and Cam Whittmore who has already shown his elite scoring ability in the short time since he was brought up from the G-League.

While not yet an elite team and likely 2 or more years from being a true contender, the Rockets have the foundation laid and should continue to show more promise as the season goes on.


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About the Contributor
Samuel Ellis
Samuel Ellis, Reporter
Award winning writer. Sports enjoyer and ball knower. Looking to marry rich.