The Houston Rockets continued their impressive start to the season with a 128-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 8. Jalen Green erupted for 28 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, shooting 73.3% from the field and 83.3% from 3-point range. Houston is 4-3 and showing the signs of internal development the fan base had hoped for.
It would appear Darvin Ham is also impressed. During his postgame press conference, the Lakers head coach discussed Houston’s improvements this season. Ham specifically credited Ime Udoka for the discipline he’s instilled in the team, along with the team’s new veterans who are providing leadership on and off the court.
“They’re a young athletic team,” Ham said. “I just think their collective discipline that Ime is instilling, he’s doing a hell of a job thus far. And the veteran leadership you’re seeing, talking these guys through on how to be smart. So, they’re going to be a handful to deal with this year. If they keep up at this rate, they’ll be a handful for not just us but the other 28 teams beside us.”
Udoka’s leadership has not only instilled discipline into his young roster, he also has the players executing at a high level. If the Rockets continue to perform at their current level, they could find themselves becoming a playoff team by the end of the season.
That would fit perfectly with the front office’s plans. They altered their direction this summer with the acquisitions of Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks; so far, it’s looking like a smart move. Nevertheless, the Rockets still have a long season ahead. A big win against the Lakers is nice, but they have to keep building on their successes if they want to be a serious threat in the Western Conference.