Posted on: March 1, 2023, 10:22h.
Last updated on: March 1, 2023, 11:53h.
The Houston Rockets have the longest active losing streak in the NBA. The team with the worst record in the league has lost 10 games in a row.
The San Antonio Spurs ended their 16-game losing streak Tuesday night with an upset victory over the Utah Jazz. After the Spurs finally got off the schnied, the last-place Rockets are the only team in the NBA with an active double-digit losing streak.
The Rockets halted a 13-game losing streak in January, which had begun in late December. The team thought they bottomed out during a disastrous stretch of the season when they went 1-18. However, the Rockets are back to their downtrodden ways with their second double-digit losing streak of the season.
Rockets general manager Rafael Stone is less concerned about their record than he is about the development of his inexperienced roster. Stone is trying to build a future championship team through the draft by developing home-grown players.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the development of our young guys,” Stone said in a recent interview with The Athletic. “That’s what continues to give us hope, because we do think that we’ve seen improvement in almost all of them.”
Head coach Stephen Silas was given the difficult task of leading the Rockets during a tumultuous rebuilding period. However, he might not be around next season, because he’s on pace to lead the Rockets to the worst record in the NBA in consecutive seasons. The Rockets are projected to finish the season with an 18-64 record, according to FiveThirtyEight.
During his rookie season as the Rockets’ head coach, Silas went 17-55 during a shortened 72-game season in 2021-22. Last season, Silas led the Rockets to a 20-62 record as the worst team in the NBA.
The Rockets ended up with the third pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and selected forward Jabari Smith, Jr. from Auburn. Smith struggled at times during his rookie season, even though he started 58 games. Smith averages 11.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He’s tied for the fourth-best scorer on the team.
A French Savior in Houston
The Rockets are once again the worst team in the NBA, sporting a 13-48 record. They went 1-10 in February.
At least there’s some positive that can come out of this ineptitude. The bottom three teams this season have an equal 14% chance to secure the draft rights to the future #1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. If the season ended today, the Rockets would be among the three worst teams in the NBA, along with the Detroit Pistons (15-47) and San Antonio Spurs (15-47).
With 20 games remaining, all three losing franchises have incentive to keep losing to maintain their spots in the bottom three.
The Rockets have their sights set on center Victor Wembanyama, the French wunderkind, who has drawn comparisons to Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant. Wembanyama has been dubbed a “once in a generation” talent, and multiple teams are hoping they can land him in the lottery and turn around their franchises.
Scouts are also high on Scoot Henderson, a point guard from Georgia, who is playing a gap year with the Ignite in the NBA G League. Henderson has drawn generous comparisons to former MVP Derrick Rose. If Wembanyama is the best big-man prospect in the upcoming draft, then Henderson is the best guard prospect to pop up on the radar in several seasons.
Many teams would be thrilled with adding Wembanyama or Henderson. However, the Rockets prefer a big man, because they’re loaded with talented young guards like leading scorer Jalen Green, Tyty Washington, Daishen Nix, and Kevin Porter, Jr.
Fading the Rockets
The Rockets have the third-worst betting record in the NBA this season with a 23-36-2 clip against the spread (ATS). If you’ve been fading the Rockets and betting against them all season, you would have won 61% of your wagers.
The team is 3-7 ATS during their current losing streak, including 0-5 ATS in their last five games. The best time to fade the Rockets is after a loss. They’re 16-30-1 ATS in games following a loss and ranked #1 in that gambling trend.
The Rockets have the worst overall road record in the NBA at 5-27, and the second-worst betting record on the road at 10-22 ATS. Only the Golden State Warriors boast a worse betting record away from home at 8-21 ATS.
With a 2-7 ATS record in back-to-back games, the Rockets are the second-worst team in that particular spot this season. Only the Dallas Mavericks are worse in that trend at 2-7-1 ATS. The Rockets have three more instances this season with back-to-back games on consecutive nights, including this upcoming weekend.
The Rockets will try to end their losing streak Wednesday when the Memphis Grizzlies come to town, but they’re +10 home dogs. The Grizzlies (37-23) are currently in second place in the Western Conference, but have struggled on the road this season with an 11-18 overall record and 9-19-1 ATS record.
The Rockets face a home/away back-to-back series this weekend against the San Antonio Spurs. Get ready for a battle of futility between the two worst teams in the Western Conference, as the Rockets take on an equally inferior opponent in an attempt to finally end their skid.
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