NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 21st (All times Eastern)
Houston Rockets (21-21) at Charlotte Bobcats (10-30), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to end a seven-game losing streak Monday afternoon when they head to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
This is the longest losing streak for the Rockets since the 2005-06 season.
"Right now we're not playing well - that's the bottom line," said head coach Kevin McHale. "We're really in a funk and we're going to have to work our way out of it - that's all there is to it.
"We're not getting any easy baskets anymore. We were leading the league in scoring and now we're not running hard. We're just so out of character right now. Then we have turnovers, and when guys are open we're not hitting them and we take the extra dribble. We're just really in a funk right now. We've got to get ourselves out of it and that's the bottom line. And we will."
The Rockets are the second-highest scoring team in the NBA, but during this slide, they've cracked the 100-point mark just three times. Twice during this dry spell, Houston was held to 79 points and that represents a season-low.
On Saturday night in Minnesota, the injury-devastated Timberwolves buried the Rockets, 92-79. James Harden led four Houston players in double figures, but the starting frontcourt of Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik was held to 12 combined points.
McHale tried to mix things up out of the locker room at halftime, benching Parsons, Patterson and Jeremy Lin in favor of Patrick Beverley, Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris. The move didn't pay off and Houston has fallen way down the ladder in the Southwest Division, 10 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
But, there may not be a better elixir for a losing streak in the NBA than a visit to Charlotte.
The Bobcats dropped their 14th straight home game on Saturday, a 97-93 setback to the Sacramento Kings, a team that had three road wins all season prior to Saturday.
Charlotte hasn't won at home since Nov. 21 against the Toronto Raptors. The Bobcats have lost seven of their last nine and 25 of their last 28, but the home slide is almost inexcusable.
"It's something that we've got to do better at," head coach Mike Dunlap said after the Kings loss. "I'm on that and so are the players. They understand that. They want to give these fans a "W" too."
Five Bobcats scored in double figures against Sacramento and the team got to the foul line 38 times, which was 17 more than an always aggressive Kings team. The problem was, the Bobcats only made 26 of those 38 for a 68 percent night.
The Rockets have won three straight against the Bobcats and the two have split the eight meetings in Charlotte. Houston is 11-5 all-time in this series.
01/21 10:26:55 ET