Houston, We Have a Problem

by November 07, 2010

by Tzvi Twersky | @TTwersky

On opening night in Los Angeles, Houston looked like the better team for the better part of their tilt against the Lakers. The Rockets lost the game down the stretch, though, falling to Kobe and co., 112-110.

Two weeks and four games later, an 0-5 Houston team is still looking for its first win of the young season.

So what’s ailing H-Town?

While Yao Ming is back after missing the 2009-10 season, he’s hardly had the impact expected of him. Maybe it’s rust, maybe it’s the Rockets run-and-cut system, maybe it’s the 24-minute limit. Whatever it is, though, it’s not good. For the center, or the team.

After last night, Yao’s only part of the problem. Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin, Rick Adelman’s starting backcourt, both tweaked their ankles, the former worse than the latter, in an overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Throw the League’s worst point per game defense and a disgruntled player—Jermaine Taylor, who tweeted, “Beyond frustrated…feels like I’m being lied 2”—into the mix and Houston has itself a real problem.

Of course, it’s still early in the season, and the Rockets have an abundance of talent. So a real problem may end up simply being a temporary problem. Still, it’s never too early to get nervous.