Rockets Drop Sixth As Injuries Mount

Even P.J. Tucker had to sit with an injury.
Even P.J. Tucker had to sit with an injury. Photo by Eric Sauseda
As ice cold as it has been in Houston the last couple days, the Rockets recent stretch may be even colder. Monday night they dropped their sixth straight in Washington to the Wizards. They have lost by an average of 16 points including the 12-point loss in DC. All six losses have come without Christian Wood, who is still recovering from a badly sprained ankle. And he's not the only one out.

A combination of John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon have been in and out of the lineup. Even the reliable P.J. Tucker missed a game and their recent G-League addition Ray Spalding was taken out last night after what appears to be a serious Achilles injury.

It appears the tumultuous offseason was just the beginning for the Rockets.

The problems have been compounded by the inability of the team to muster chemistry that comes through playing and practicing together. On Monday, the Rockets put their fifteenth starting lineup. Only rookie Jae'Sean Tate has played in every game this season.

Oladipo, Tucker and Gordon could be back Wednesday night and while Wood has been working out, he is still a ways off from returning according to coach Stephen Silas.

On top of everything else, Oladipo has struggled since joining the Rockets. He is shooting under 30 percent from three and under 40 percent overall. He is down in other statistical categories as well and hasn't looked well on the floor in general.

This is all happening as the trade deadline is just over a month away. Deciding what to do with Oladipo, a pending free agent, may be the most important decision the Rockets make this season regardless of wins and losses. At 11-16, the Rockets are sitting at 14 in the Western Conference. Only the Timberwolves are worse. Yet, they remain just three-and-a-half games out of the eighth spot, five games out of sixth.

Still, with injuries mounting and chemistry generally non existent, it won't be long before the team is forced to direct its attention to the offseason. Until then, the icy conditions on and off the floor will likely continue.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke