In order to get a bit more insight on the current state of affairs of tonight’s opponent, the Houston Rockets, we spoke to The Dream Shake managing editor Darren Yuvan.
You can follow Darren on Twitter @darrenyuvan.
Thank you Darren for participating in our Q&A.
You can check Adrian Bernecich’s answers to their questions here.
1. The Rockets have lost nine straight games and start the season 1-10. Is the team’s record reflective of its play so far?
I have to say yes. It might be the ultimate display of “you are what your record says you are,” but the Rockets haven’t learned how to win yet. They’ve played several tight games that they couldn’t close out down the stretch, and though they easily could have three or four more wins, the team’s inexperience took over and they just haven’t been able to finish. Do they have the talent to be better than their record? Yes, absolutely. Are they? No, they’re 1-10 for a reason.
2. Jalen Green is many people’s favorite for Rookie of the Year. How good has he been so far and can he live up to the hype?
Green’s athleticism, drive to be great, and potential are off the charts. He’s got a whole bag of scoring tricks, and I’m excited to watch him develop. That being said, he doesn’t yet have the physicality on his 19-year-old frame to get whatever he wants, and he’s still adjusting to the speed of the NBA game, which means he’s still learning how to get open off of cuts and moving off ball at this level. He’s not my favorite for rookie of the year, though if he manages to find his shot consistently as the season goes on, all bets are off.
3. John Wall is making $44 million this season but is not playing with the team. Why are the Rockets choosing to bench him?
I think there’s a few reasons. First, is making space for the young guys. The Rockets want Jalen Green developing, and they want to know if Kevin Porter Jr. is capable of running the point full time. Wall is a high-usage guard that’s going to need and want the ball in his hands. That’s not ideal for Houston’s young backcourt duo to grow. The second reason Houston is embracing the tank in the sense that if their young guys end up winning games, that’s great for their development. If not, the young core is still getting better and Houston will have another top draft pick incoming. For his part, John Wall gets to be the most expensive assistant coach in league history. Not a bad gig.
4. What is one thing you want Blazers fans to know about the Rockets that can’t be seen through box scores?
Alperen Sengun affects winning in ways that are obvious when he’s on the court, but maybe not so much through his raw numbers so far. And Jae’Sean Tate is one of the best pure basketball players you’ll see in the sense that he knows the game, knows how to play it, and knows exactly where to be at all times. His numbers are fine, but boy, is he fun to watch.
5. What’s your prediction for tonight’s game?
Well, please don’t hate me, Rockets fans, but just like in Roadhouse (sorry, just rewatched that one the other night), it’ll get worse before it gets better. I think the Rockets just might get blown out in this one. In fact, I think they lose the next two before having some success in the subsequent string of games.