It is time for a change!
If the season is over, what can the Rockets do differently for next year?
As we know, the NBA season is on a pause since March 13th because of the coronavirus. The Rockets were 40-24 on inconsistent season with a newly acquired Russell Westbrook. The Rockets were not able to find a consistent winning streak this season. Who should the Rockets bring back or look for in free agency?
The Rocket's season started shaky because of the relationship between James Harden and Westbrook on the court. Westbrook was still trying find his true role in Coach Mike D' Antoni system, Harden had a cold streak throughout the month of January, and the Rockets tried a new system towards mid-season. Another thing the Rockets lack is consistency! They have not been consistent since the 2017-2018 season. Does D'Antoni lack that strong presence of a strict coach? Nice guy, but the Rockets need an alpha male coach to get the team's attention.
How the Rockets can overcome those things is establishing a true identity. Knowing the teams' greatest strengths and weaknesses. Also recognizing the bright spots from last season as well. The fact that Westbrook and Harden's chemistry improved towards the end of the season, was a great thing for this team. Plus, the Rockets get more time to perfect the small ball equation with Robert Covington. As we saw the Rockets go on certain win streaks throughout the season with the small ball equation. For the most part, it works, just needs more perfection!
Ever since Daryl Morey traded Clint Capela for Covington, it clears up more cap space. Meaning more space for another wing player in the future. Since 2020 free agency offers Gordon Hayward, DeMar DeRozan, and Danilo Gallinari, players that can fit in the Rockets offense, it would not hurt to see the Rockets throw cash at those guys. Honestly, Hayward and Gallinari would fit better than DeRozan. Probably much cheaper than DeRozan because he will be looking for a max contract. Plus, DeRozan would slow the offense down because of his inability to shoot threes. Gallinari and Hayward can stretch the floor with their shooting. Hayward is unselfish to let Harden and Westbrook run point because of his great cutting skills towards the basket. Gallinari is a great spot up shooter and can score all over the court. Now the Rockets cannot afford both but can make one a contingency plan. Also keeping Jeff Green is not a bad idea as well. The Rockets could keep him for cheap so they can have more of a veteran presence on the team.
The Rockets must do something different if they want to compete for a championship. The west will continue to get harder with Klay Thompson coming back to Golden State.