Is Stephen Silas’ job in danger? Trade kevin porter jr and more: rocket mailbag

Greetings, people!

The Houston Rockets are 10-30 in the middle of the season. Needless to say, there are a lot of things to talk about. No need to waste time, let’s dive into it.

Is there any truth to the rumors circulating that Stephen Silas’ work is in danger? Or does the organization realize that this is a rebuild and be patient? – Aaron J.

This is undoubtedly the most pressing question given the current climate, so we’ll start here.

It seems that with each passing day, the frustration around this team grows – both externally and internally. Can’t get around it: it’s hard here for young people. The Rockets are in last place 10-30 and have lost 12 of 13 games, which bears eerily similar to their slow start to the season, when they lost 12 of 14 games. The recent slide has brought more questions about the legitimacy of the overall rebuilding and whether the group is moving forward.

Has there been any real improvement? Silas had a lot to say about this idea.

“We are the number one team in the league in offensive rebounding,” the Rockets coach said earlier this week. “I’m proud of that. Paint Protection – We were horrible in paint protection last year, and this year we’re fifth. Edge protection which was worse last year, we were really bad and we’re now 11th in discount edge rate.” Kevin Porter Jr.’s Growth Where he’s a point guard, playing and assisting his teammates. Jalen Green gets to the free-throw line, making several assists and half passes. Gabri Smith Jr., comes on slowly but surely, with the ups and downs of starters.”

Even with these areas of growth, the overall product still lacks a scratch at times. They are 30th and 28th in points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, respectively, in glass cleaning. Last season, they finished 26th in offense and 30th in defense. In 2020, the Rockets ranked 27th in both. Youngsters are often relied on and even championed, to some extent, when talking about patience, but Houston shouldn’t get offensively worse as the rebuilding process progresses. This falls squarely on the shoulders of Silas and his coaching staff.

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But does this mean his job is in danger? Is Silas really on the hot seat?

If we’re being honest, I didn’t think Silas would survive a brutal 2-12 start to the year. It seemed like the walls were coming down, and we saw coaches get fired at the start of classes for less than that. But he survived and Houston looked better over the next stage, going 7-6 in the next 13 games. The question used the catchphrase “at risk,” implying that Silas could lose his job sooner rather than later.

The sense I get is that there is no rush to cut ties with Silas at this juncture. He was always supported by management, from winning them over in the interview process to giving him complete autonomy in making his own support team. There is a lot of love for him on the block, especially after the unfortunate death of his father, Paul Silas.

But to say the front desk isn’t frustrated would be a lie. If you want a game that sums up the Rockets’ 2022-23 experience, Sunday night’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves had it all. They built a grand finale out of young joys and watched it crumble with sloppy executions and missteps, with everyone scratching their heads afterwards when asked what just happened. Watching them play it seems no one is on the same page and there is real confusion on the floor. Players seem distrustful at times. There is no real order of operations. Spotting the crime flow is basically a crapshoot. They died last in their vicissitudes. Teams don’t respect them defensively. More than one opposing player has referred to Rockets as a “get-right” game.

That’s it at Silas. Coaching is about setting your buddies up for success, but it’s also about the intangibles. Confidence. trust. protection. Three extremely important variables for young players seem to be missing right now.

Zooming out, Houston elites always viewed this rebuilding as a three-year plan, not a protracted epic that would last forever. This is the last season they’ve fully benefited from being bad, thanks to the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade a few years ago. (The Oklahoma City Thunder received the Rockets’ first-round draft picks in 2024 and 2026, both top-four protected, and earned the right to trade picks in 2025.) Houston let Silas make the bed he wanted, but that also comes with accountability if things go south.

If I were a betting man, my money in Silas would end the season. But (important caveat!) that’s assuming this losing streak doesn’t go deep into the double digits. Prior to this new year, the most consecutive games lost by Houston was six. The Rockets are now down seven in a row and looking at their next schedule, the only game they have may be He will be favored in a home game with Charlotte on January 18th. With two games against the Sacramento Kings and a Los Angeles Lakers/Los Angeles Clippers swing, the losing streak could go to 11.

If we’re talking about a 13-14 match losing streak, I’m not sure if Silas can survive that. Even Jon Snow couldn’t come back from that.

Hi Kelly. Do you think the Rockets would move Kevin Porter Jr. if he landed at the second or third pick? (Most likely Scoot Henderson or Amen Thompson?) I generally see KPJ talked about being a good sixth man rather than a starting shortstop on a winning team. Any thoughts on that? thank you In advance. – Matthew C.

In a world where Houston hasn’t won the Victor Wimpanyama lottery, its focus should only be on Scott Henderson and Amin Thompson – the first especially if it ends up with the second pick. This will be a home run for a team that really needs some help making the play.

Regarding Porter, I still think his best role is wing scorer. His offensive ability is evident both physically and technically. His playmaking development has gone relatively well since being traded to Houston (his passes have taken a slight hit compared to last season), to the point where his readings can be trusted. Problems come when Porter feels he has to be assigned a setup everything Facing the Rockets, he finds himself resorting to old habits. Having a natural lead ballplayer would allow Porter to settle into a more comfortable role, as well as help from Jalen Green and Jabari Smith.

But I don’t think those two things – Houston getting a high draft and moving Porter – should be necessarily related.


Kevin Porter Jr. (Troy Taormina/USA Today)
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What kind of veterans should the Rockets be entertaining, whether by way of a trade at the deadline or in free agency over the summer? – Creighton M.

I had the pleasure of catching up with Austin Rivers over the weekend, and in the midst of that conversation it was clear that Houston’s youthful exuberance—as attractive as it sounds from a long-term perspective—doesn’t come without holes. There is still an urgent need for some seasoned leadership around this core.

“They got it,” Rivers said. the athlete. “They just need guidance, you know what I mean? Which they can’t give themselves. They need good vets here.”

In my opinion, Miles Turner should be the primary target for free agency if he doesn’t sign a season extension. The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of a mini-recovery, which ultimately rules out any hope of a surprise move at the trade deadline. But once summer rolls around, the Houston brass should follow Turner in full force. He’s everything the Rockets need in a big guy: a proven rim and floor guard who has a knack for making things around him easier. You can’t ask for anything more than that for an unsuitable addition. Houston will have plenty of space and can use Turner’s Texas roots to their advantage. Missiles should pull out all the stops.

Plus, it would be wise to add another veteran point guard at some point.

Statistics show that the rest of the leagues run more than in previous seasons. Why do Rockets just play at such a slow speed? Why is there no obligation to be an excellent operating team? – Jason F.

I really like this word syrup. It really gives you a visual of what’s going on between the lines at the moment.

The Rockets are 18th in pace, just one year after finishing second in the NBA. It’s one of the more confusing parts of their season due to the Green-Porter’s backcourt and their penchant for speed and power. You’d think they’d continue to push the pace like they did in 2021-22, but this was just a weird campaign all around.

I think they understand the importance of being a running team. Silas has spoken at length about his desire for his team to return to this style of play, especially with how devastating it can be on the open field.

The easiest excuse is their lack of defensive stops. When you’re constantly getting the ball out of your net, things tend to slow down. Add to that the implementation issues and you find yourself with unnecessarily slow gameplay. or a drink. So, could they get to a point where they can be defensive enough to start a series of fast breaks? They are 26th in this division, and have scored just 11.5 points per game in transition. This number must be much higher given the mathematical tools available to them.

(Top photo by Stephen Silas: Team Warner/Getty Images)

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