Hot Seat Stephen Silas?
At the time of me writing this, the Houston Rockets are unraveling. First it was the James Harden saga that forced their hand into trading him away. Then it was the injury that took away their best player in Christian Wood. That was followed by DeMarcus Cousins seemingly finding a fit in Houston, but now the Rockets and Cousins have mutually parted ways. Now, the Rockets have lost 11 straight games with the most recent loss coming by 49 points at the hands of the Grizzlies. With the trade deadline looming, questions surrounding their future are starting to come up.
This has been a horrible situation for first year head coach, Stephen Silas to step into. No coach should be thrust into a toxic position where their franchise center-piece is refusing to play and forces the teams hand to ship him out of town.
Directly after the Harden Trade, the Rockets actually looked improved under Silas. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were returning to form, Christian Wood was making a case for most improved player, Victor Oladipo came in and contributed right away, and the rest of their roster (filled with no names) was over performing. The Rockets were competing night in and night out. It looked like they had their core set in stone post Harden and that they could compete for a 7–10 spot out West.
Now, they have completely taken a 180. DeMarcus Cousins is out of town. Christian Wood went down with an injury and there is no telling when he will be back in action. Questions surrounding whether Victor Oladipo will be on the trade block are starting to arise, and John Wall is on and off the floor with injuries or rest. Bottom line, the Rockets are a complete mess with no clear direction.
As I mentioned before, Stephen Silas was thrown into a horrible situation, but now with a 10 game skid and no light at the end of the tunnel, I ask… Is Stephen Silas on the Hot Seat?
It is one thing to compete and lose games, but it is a completely different story when it looks like there is no chance of victory from the opening tipoff. That is what it seems like for the Rockets right now. They have a roster of players (aside from Wall, Oladipo and Wood) that simply aren’t good enough to get the job done. Rookie, Jae’Sean Tate is the one and only bright spot aside from the aforementioned core group of players.
The Rockets must choose a direction come deadline day in March. They have a few assets they could get a decent return for in Eric Gordon, Victor Oladipo and some of their draft picks. If the Rockets decide to be sellers at the deadline then I firmly believe Stephen Silas will get a chance to finish out the rest of this season and see what he can do with a full offseason leading into the 2021–22 campaign.
It will be interesting to see what direction the Rockets go. They do have a solid core if they can stay healthy with Oladipo, Wall, Wood, Gordon and Tate. However, it is looking like they will look to capitalize on the assets they have in order to prepare for the future.