Houston Rockets: Collapse City

April 16, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari (8) blocks Houston Rockets center Samuel Dalembert (21) during the third quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The wheels are coming off, the ship is taking on water

Remember the 4-game road winning streak? Seems like it was years ago doesn't it? The Rockets have not only given back all 4 games with a 4 game losing streak, but they've also lost the tiebreaker to the Jazz, Suns, and Nuggets in the fight for the 8th seed. They've lost 4 in a row with bad defense, poorly run offensive sets, poor rebounding, and untimely turnovers. During this losing streak the Rockets shot 26-94 (27.6%) from behind the arc, have been out-rebounded in 3 of the 4 games, and gave up countless layups/dunks and open 3-point shots to the Suns and Nuggets. It's been a truly pathetic stretch of basketball.

If the playoffs started today, the Rockets would miss the postseason for the 3rd season in a row and likely have the 14th pick in the draft as the best darn lottery team in the league (1st round pick traded to Nets is lottery protected). All this being said, they can still make the playoffs; which would be fitting since they always seem to do what I don't expect. Up next for the Rockets, a must-win game at Dallas; certainly a tall task. Here's a rundown of what the 3 teams fighting for the last spot have left.

Rockets: @ Dallas, @ New Orleans, Warriors, @ Miami, Hornets
Suns: Thunder, Clippers, Nuggets, @ Utah, Spurs
Jazz: @ Portland, Magic, Suns, Blazers

Looking at that breakdown, the Suns by far have the most difficult remaining schedule; though the Spurs will probably be sitting their starters during the last game of the season. Currently the Rockets and Suns are tied in the standings with the Jazz 1/2 game behind. The Miami Heat look to be locked into the 2nd seed, so the Rockets have to hope that they'll be resting starters on April 22nd. If the Rockets do get to face the B-team of the Heat, they have a great chance to go 4-1 to close out the season; but of course there's no guarantees with this team. In my opinion it'll come down to the Jazz and Rockets; the Suns schedule is just too tough. Looking at the schedule for the Jazz, I think they'll go 3-1 to get to 35 wins. Meaning the Rockets will have to go at least 4-1 to reach 36 wins to make the playoffs.

Even if they do make the playoffs, with the arena half-full every home game already and the NFL schedule being released tonight; will Houston fans care? Didn't seem like it on Twitter last night.

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