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Mike D’Antoni after Rockets drop to 1-5: ‘Right now, we’re playing like crap’

Mike D'Antoni, James Harden, Chris Paul, Rockets

Following a franchise-best 65-win season, the Houston Rockets have dropped to 1-5 to start their 2018-19 campaign, causing frustration in a locker room prepared to make a trip back to the Western Conference Finals after falling a game short of reaching the final series. Needless to say, head coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t happy with how his team has piled up four double-digit losses throughout this early start.

“Last year, we played well. Right now, we’re playing like crap,” D’Antoni said after a 19-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Well look. We’ll fight it. Not making shots, not making foul shots, not making layups.”

Four of the Rockets’ five losses have been by double digits, with the latest a 19-point loss to the Blazers, who pulled out their starters early in the fourth quarter.

“The games we’re losing, once it goes bad, it goes bad,” said forward Carmelo Anthony, who shot a woeful 2-of-12 to finish with eight points in his second start of the season. “We have to change that. We have to have some sustainability out there. We have to have some force and some fight.”

Houston has been mired in foul trouble through each of its six games, often caught in mismatches thanks to its switch-happy style — an adjustment the team will have to make to keep this ship afloat.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out, why it goes so south so fast,” said forward P.J. Tucker. “Played better defense, probably our best defensive half the first half. Just couldn’t score the ball. The start of the third quarter, defense like that is unacceptable. It’s embarrassing.”

The Rockets were unexpectedly bad on offense against the Blazers, scoring only 85 points despite cleaning the offensive glass with 20 boards (15 of them from their starters) while misfiring from all over the floor. Houston shot a woeful 32.3 percent from the floor, 23.3 percent on 43 attempts from the 3-point line and a poor 13-of-23 from the foul line.

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