Sportress of Blogitude

Chris Paul ‘still not that concerned’ about Rockets’ struggles

The Houston Rockets blew a 14-point halftime lead Monday night, ultimately losing 103-91 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The latest setback was Houston’s fifth loss in its past 10 games, and despite an arguable cause for it, Chris Paul insists he’s not worried about the team’s ongoing struggles.

Paul did rightfully admit in an interview with CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave after Monday night’s loss that the Rockets’ 11-12 record “ain’t that good,” but made the distinction between regular-season basketball and postseason play.

“I’m still not that concerned, to tell you the truth,” Paul said. “Somebody’s gotta beat us four out of seven times. I don’t see that happening.”

Paul may be correct in that assertion, but teams build up momentum for the playoffs by getting into a regular-season groove. There’s obviously plenty of time for the Rockets to do just that with most of the season remaining.

Still, the stark contrast between the efficiency Houston played with on the way to stellar 65-17 mark a season ago to what’s been on display so far this season cannot be simply dismissed.

A lack of depth has been exposed as the Rockets battled through an injury-riddled recent stretch, something Mike D’Antoni bemoaned after last Wednesday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets appear to be on the way to better health, but the improved results have yet to make a difference on the win-loss front.

That said, there’s no reason to expect the Rockets not to be in the postseason mix come spring, and D’Antoni bristled over being asked to compare this Rockets team to last season’s juggernaut.

“You shouldn’t, because it really doesn’t matter,” D’Antoni said Monday. “This is our team this year. Who cares? Who cares? That’s the Rockets of the past. We can’t compare ourselves to Olajuwon or anybody. This is us. We gotta figure this out.”

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta admitted last week he’s not “holding up very well” amid the team’s continued subpar play. Paul, meanwhile, continues to keep the faith.

“It’s a lot different than last year,” Paul said. “But once we figure it out, we’ll be alright.”