Following a Game 4 performance in which the Rockets didn’t play acceptable defense till the 4th quarter, they had some locker room troubles as reported by Shams Charania.
The Rockets are staring down the barrel of a playoff exit in 5 games against the Lakers. They have lost their last 3 games by a combined 28 point margin and started Game 5 down 15 points in just the first quarter.
Their defense, which was their calling card in their first 8 playoff games, has been noticeably absent in the 3 losses.
Rockets have shouting match in locker room after Game 4 defeat
In one particular sequence during the 4th quarter of Game 4, the Rockets let Rajon Rondo have one of the most wide open layups ever.
PJ Tucker, of all people, somehow contrived to switch to Harden’s man on that particular drive.
The Rockets turned the pressure up at the time to come back within 5 points of the Lakers, but some clutch play from Caruso swung the momentum back in the Lakers’ favour in a 10 point win.
Now, according to Shams Charania, James Harden and co. got into a tussle in the locker room post the Game 4 loss. There was a lot of shouting in the locker room, as the players wanted everyone to be held accountable for the loss.
“There was audible shouting in the postgame locker room…I’m told Rockets players were holding each other accountable to bring better body language, bring better effort on the floor.”
— Stadium (@Stadium) September 12, 2020
There is much concern about how the Rockets will cope with so much internal strife. Leading 3-point shooter Danuel House is already out of the bubble, evicted for breaking rules regarding interaction with personnel.
They have some polarizing figures in the locker room and have few weapons other than their unconventional ones on court. One wonders how they can make something of this series in such circumstances.