The rest of the NBA had better beware the day that the Rockets start playing some semblance of consistent, respectable defense. They currently rank sixth in offensive rating and fourth in effective field-goal percentage, thanks to an approach built predominantly on drives to the basket, three-pointers, pushing the pace in transition and running the pick-and-roll.
But their defense sits among the bottom 10 in the league in efficiency and, in turn, the fact that they play the fastest average pace around (98.76 possessions per game, per NBA.com) means that no lead of theirs is ever truly safe. cheap nba jerseys
Hence, nights like those on which Houston loses to Dallas and Phoenix—despite James Harden posting lines of 28-4-9 and 38-5-8 in those games, respectively—are bound to drag down the Rockets' playoff positioning and, eventually, their ability to proceed through the postseason.
Chicago hasn't been the sweetest of homes for the Bulls this season, where they've compiled a record of 18-14. But it's been better than the alternative, particularly of late. The Bulls have dropped each of their last four games outside of the United Center, including losses to the Spurs and the Lakers in which their stagnant offense looked even more anemic than usual. wholesale nba jerseys
In the long run, Chicago is certainly wise to allow Derrick Rose to take his time getting back. According to Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com, Rose remains uncomfortable with the state of his hamstrings and his left knee, even though he's been cleared to play by his doctors.
For now, though, Rose's prolonged absence is clearly taking a toll on the rest of his teammates—especially Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, who've had to stretch themselves past the point of exhaustion to keep the Bulls from slipping too far down the standings in the Eastern Conference.