The Houston Rockets had to fight tooth and nail to finish with a 41-41 record to secure the final spot in the Western Conference Playoffs, just one year after losing in the Western Conference Finals to the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. This year they were knocked out in five games in the first round of the playoffs by those same Golden State Warriors. The Rockets fired head coach Kevin McHale early in the season, with a 4-7 record. J.B. Bickerstaff finished up the season by going 37-34.
TEAM MVP: James Harden, shooting guard – 26-year old shooting guard James Harden had an incredible year for the Rockets in 2015-16. He played in 82 games (all starts) for the Rockets in 2015-16 and he averaged 38.1 minutes, 29.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He had 23 Double-Doubles and 3 Triple-Doubles last year. In the 32 games (all starts) in which Harden played at least 40 minutes, he averaged 42.4 minutes, 33.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
MOST IMPROVED: Clint Capela, center – 21-year old center Clint Capela improved by leaps and bounds in his second year in the NBA. Capela played in 77 games (35 starts) for the Rockets in 2015-16 and he averaged 19.1 minutes, 7.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 1.2 blocked shots per game. He only shot 37.9% from the free throw line this year, which is horrid! But, he did have 10 Double-Doubles for the Rockets last year. In his 31 games in which he played at least 20 minutes, Capela averaged 25.6 minutes, 8.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocked shots per game.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Terrence Jones, power forward – The Rockets expected Terrence Jones to build off his solid 2014-15 season, but that didn’t happen as he lived in the Dog House in 2015-16. Jones played in 50 games (11 starts) for the Rockets last year and he averaged 20.9 minutes, 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game. After the All-Star Break, Jones only played in 5 games (0 starts) in which he averaged 8.2 minutes, 2.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. In his 7 games (5 starts) in which Jones played at least 30 minutes, he averaged 34.3 minutes, 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game.