Rockets 'in a hole' after 11-14 start to season


HOUSTON – After three straight losses, the Rockets find themselves in fifth place in the Southwest Division with a record of 11-14.

The frustration is building for a team that was one win away from a trip to the finals last season and had high hopes to “run it back” this year with many of their core players still intact.

“Like anything else, myself and them, we’re upset about it,” said Rockets' head coach Mike D’Antoni, “You don’t sleep well. You’re trying to search for answers, and they’re doing the same thing.”

Still, D’Antoni said the issue is not a lack of confidence.

“Nobody’s confidence is shaken. It’s not like there’s a woe-is-me kind of attitude,” he said.

Now 25 games into the season and under .500, the Rockets aren't pushing the panic button per se but know the time to turn things around is now.

“It’s getting late, and I told them, hey, we’re in a hole, but you can’t be a great team and get out of the hole unless we start playing. Everybody come to the rescue and let’s do this,” D’Antoni explained at Monday’s practice. 

The successes of last season are often brought up within the team when trying to figure out just what is going differently this season. But Clint Capela said this is a much different team now.

“It’s definitely not like last year. We expected that this season would be different," Capela said. "It’s definitely not the same team, but we’re fighting against it. It’s not easy, but we’re doing the best we can.”

With desperation building, the tone within the organization is shifting from, “we’re going to get it turned around” to “we have to get it turned around,” and as Chris Paul put it simply, “You just got to at some point say enough is enough.”

The Rockets host Portland Tuesday night, then LeBron and the Lakers on Thursday.