Mar 5, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Houston Rockets defeated the Orlando Magic 101-89. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Did the Houston Rockets get worse?

After missing out on New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony and Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh, the Houston Rockets then opted to sign Washington Wizards’ swingman Trevor Ariza (for the second time) and then decided against matching the Dallas Mavericks’ three-year, $46 million offer for forward Chandler Parsons. Earlier in the offseason, the Rockets did not pick up the option on Parsons’, making him a restricted free agent. To clear cap space, they also traded center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans and and point guard Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders believes the Rockets got five games worse.

When you say you’re excited about how the individual players will improve, I have a feeling you’re going to be disappointed. Harden won’t play defense until a head coach demands it of him, and McHale doesn’t demand much that’s outside his players’ comfort zones. Howard can dominate, but at the same time, Robin Lopez looked great against Dwight, and that’s inexcusable. Lopez is a second unit player, and should not even be on the court with Dwight. Ariza is only good in contract years, so talk to me in year two of his deal. Jones is the only one who I think about really have an unexpected impact . . .but can he get the ball enough? I think the Rockets are 5 games worse this season.

Any time a team has stars like center Dwight Howard and James Harden, they have the ability to be in any game, but they certainly don’t have the look of a contender. The Rockets will likely still try to make a move and have targeted Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo in the past.

Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

Tags: Dwight Howard Houston Rockets James Harden Trevor Ariza

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