As I noted earlier in the morning, the Rockets are now trending in the right direction. While offense has dropped to third, defense is now up to 16th. This time last week, defense was 23rd. As you know, the goal is to have both a top-10 offense and defense. The offense was never in question.
You can also see that DREB% seems to have settled in and has been roughly 15th all season. That’s the biggest improvement from last season where the team finished 29th and was abysmal even during their stellar second half following the All-Star break. I would surmise that you can contribute the majority of this to the addition of Russell Westbrook, as was expected.
Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I think you’re going to see the Rockets settle in to around 8th or 9th in defensive rating before its all done. They were 29th two weeks ago. I’m attributing this to the fact that not only has Clint Capela rounded into form after a disappointing start, but the team is still incorporating some new pieces in Ben McLemore and Tyson Chandler, with new coaching after the departure of Jeff Bzdelik. Of course, it all hinges on the effort level and focus of James Harden and Westbrook.