After the Houston Rockets traded James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets, everyone knew they were going to bad. But no one would have expected this. On Sunday afternoon, the Rockets dropped a heartbreaker to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-112, to extend their losing streak to 20 games.
This is the longest losing streak in franchise history, and the Rockets are now the eighth team in NBA history to lose 20-plus games in a row. All of that failure is clearly getting to new head coach Stephen Silas, who struggled for words during his postgame press conference.
The full exchange:
Reporter: "Hey coach, tough one as the streak continues. Did you feel your team getting tight at all down the stretch, do you feel like the weight of these losses is building?"
*10 seconds of silence*
Sunday's loss to the Thunder was especially painful because it was the first time in weeks that they actually had a chance to win. A losing streak like this is bad enough, but the Rockets haven't even been close in most of these games. In fact, you have to go back over a month -- a five-point loss to the 76ers on Feb. 17 -- to find the last time they lost by less than double digits.
Against the Thunder they briefly held the lead in the final few minutes, and had a chance to tie or win the game on the final possession. But John Wall put up a 3-pointer that didn't come close, and sealed their fate. What's worse is Silas admitted postgame that it was supposed to be a pick-and-roll, but Wall waved it off to try and go for the glory.
All of that failure is clearly getting to new head coach Stephen Silas, who closed his postgame press conference by saying that he needs to be better.
With this loss the Rockets are now 11-30 on the season, which is just 1.5-games ahead of the Timberwolves for the worst record in the league. They're also just eight games away from matching the 76ers for the worst losing streak of all time -- though their 28 losses came over the course of two seasons. The longest single-season losing streak is 26 games by both the 76ers and Cavaliers.
When Silas took the job, he thought he'd be coaching two former MVPs and making a deep playoff run, if not possibly contending in the Western Conference. A few months later, Harden, Russell Westbrook and PJ Tucker are all gone, and the Rockets are closing in on infamy. It's not hard to see why he's struggling to make sense of it all.