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.

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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