Rockets sign veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute

The Houston Rockets signed free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute today.

Mbah a Moute (6-foot-8, 230 pounds) was originally the 37th overall pick by Milwaukee in the 2008 NBA Draft. He hasn’t played much in recent seasons: no games so far in 2019-20, and in the 2018-19 season he played four games for the Los Angeles Clippers.

His overall NBA career average is 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 686 career games with 453 starts.

Mbah a Moute won’t score much, but should provide solid defense off the Houston bench.

Per the Houston Chronicle: “He hasn’t played in two years,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of Mbah a Moute’s potential to crack the Rockets’ rotation. “I don’t know. I have no clue. That’s why the three weeks (of workouts) and the eight games will be highly important to get the rotation down. Whether it’s eight, nine or 10 guys, that’ll be determined. Hopefully we can make a good choice there.”

The Cameroonian native appeared in 61 games with 15 starts for Houston in 2017-18. The Rockets were 17-1 when he scored in double-figures. Since the start of 2016-17, Mbah a Moute has shot 49.3% from the floor and 37.4% from 3-point range.

Updated Rockets schedule resumes July 31 vs. Mavericks

The NBA has announced the schedule for the 22 teams participating in the restart of the 2019-20 season. All games will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The 22 teams will be the eight teams in each conference with the highest current winning percentages and the six teams that are currently within six games of the eighth seed in either conference. Each teams will play eight “seeding games” as selected from their remaining regular season schedule.

The Rockets have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, marking their franchise-best eighth straight postseason appearance. With a current record of 40-24, Houston has also secured its 14th straight season going .500 or better and is the only team to have done so over that span.

At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the highest combined winning percentages across regular-season games and seeding games will be the first through seventh seeds for the playoffs for that conference.

If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage (regular-season games and seeding games) in a conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference, then the team with the eighth-best winning percentage would be the eighth playoff seed in that conference.

If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage in a conference (Team 8) is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference (Team 9), then those two teams would compete in a play-in tournament to determine the eighth playoff seed in the conference. The play-in tournament will be double elimination for Team 8 and single elimination for Team 9.

The NBA’s standard playoff tiebreaker procedures will be used to break any ties on the basis of winning percentage. Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs will proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round.

Below is the Rockets schedule for the eight seeding games in Orlando:

Friday, July 31; 8 p.m. CT vs Dallas
Sunday, August 2; 7:30 CT vs Milwaukee
Tuesday, August 4; 8 p.m. CT vs Portland
Thursday, August 6; 8 p.m. CT vs LA Lakers
Sunday, August 9; 7 p.m. CT vs Sacramento
Tuesday, August 11; 1 p.m. CT vs San Antonio
Wednesday, August 12; 3 p.m. CT vs Indiana
Friday, August 14; TBD vs Philadelphia

All games will also be available on the radio broadcast home of the Rockets, SportsTalk 790 KBME and NewsRadio 740 KTRH in addition to Spanish coverage on La Ranchera KEYH 850 AM/KNTE 101.7 FM.

Rockets sign David Nwaba, waive Isaiah Hartenstein

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey today announced that the team has signed free agent guard/forward David Nwaba.

And in a related move, the Rockets have waived center Isaiah Hartenstein.

Nwaba (6-5, 219) was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his senior season at Cal Poly. In four NBA seasons, he has appeared in 161 games with 37 starts while averaging 6.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists.

In 20 games for Brooklyn this season, Nwaba shot 42.9% from 3-point range. He is shooting 49.2% from the floor for his career and was named All-NBA Development League All-Defensive Team in 2016-17.

Hartenstein was the 43rd pick by Houston in the 2017 NBA Draft and appeared in a total of 51 games as a Rocket.

Rockets break losing streak, beat Timberwolves

The Rockets have racked up losses lately. But the Timberwolves are in a state of rebuild, and do have D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, but with KAT out of action, Houston suddenly remembered how to win again. Here’s the Houston Chronicle:

Facing a team with the third-worst record in the NBA and playing without star Karl-Anthony Towns, the Rockets had seemed heading to another inexplicable defeat, trailing by 10 late in the third quarter. When they finally got on the sort of roll they could not find for a week, the Rockets built a 13-point lead and finished off the Timberwolves, 117-111, Tuesday at Toyota Center.

It might have been much more difficult than they would have liked. But by the fourth quarter, much of the formula was back in place. Harden finished with 37 points, making 5 of 10 3s (including a heave from the backcourt he missed.) Russell Westbrook had 27, driving to fourth-quarter slams.

When the Timberwolves were within six, Eric Gordon, who had missed his first six 3-pointers in his first game back from a sore knee, nailed consecutive 3s to take the lead back to a safe double-digits.

The Rockets continue to play extreme “small-ball,” starting 6-foot-7, 209-pound Robert Covington and 6-foot-5, 245-pound forward P.J. Tucker at their big-man spots.

Rockets weekly notes: James Harden close to passing Calvin Murphy

Houston Rockets Weekly Notes

James Harden needs 59 points to surpass Calvin Murphy (17,949) for the second-most in franchise history… Hakeem Olajuwon is the Rockets all-time leading scorer with 26,511 points… Harden is averaging a league-best 34.3 ppg this season.

Jeff Green is averaging 18.3 points on 72.7% shooting over the past three games… he has scored in double-figures in five of his nine games as a Rocket while shooting 66.7% from the floor and 46.4% from 3-point range.

The Rockets have recorded at least 10 steals in 12 of the past 21 games and are averaging 9.8 spg over that span after only having 10+ steals twice in the 20 games prior while averaging 6.7 spg… Houston ranks fifth in the NBA with 8.4 spg this overall this season after finishing fifth with 8.5 spg in 2018-19.

Houston has scored 50+ points in the paint in two of the past three games after doing so once the seven games prior… the Rockets have scored 50+ points in the paint 25 times this season after doing so 19 times in 2018-19.

Rockets keeping Jeff Green for remainder of season

In an expected move, the Houston Rockets yesterday signed forward Jeff Green for the remainder of the season.

In four games as a Rocket, Green is averaging 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19.3 minutes per game while shooting 70.0% from the floor and 61.5% from 3-point range. He has played at least 18 minutes in 17 of his 34 games for Utah and Houston this season, and is averaging 2.0 3-pointers made on 49.3% shooting in those games.

Houston Chronicle:

“I really like Jeff,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He fits exactly what we need. Athletic. He can guard on the perimeter, guard bigs, hit 3s, run the floor. He can dunk and finish, roll, pop. He’s a complete player that complements what we do.”

He initially signed a 10-day contract with Houston on Feb. 18.

The Rockets are 38-20 this season, which is the Western conference’s 4th best record, and are on a five-game winning streak.

Rockets sign Jeff Green to 10-day contract

The Houston Rockets yesterday signed veteran free agent forward Jeff Green to a 10-day contract.

The team will reportedly also soon add small forward DeMarre Carroll, once he clears waivers.

The 6-foot-8, 237-pound Green, now in his 12th NBA season, has played in 890 games with 543 starts, averaging 13.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 29.6 minutes per game.

This season, he played limited minutes for the Utah Jazz.

Last season, in 77 games with 44 starts for the Wizards, Green averaged 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 3-pointers made in 27.2 minutes per game.

Per the Houston Chronicle:

Green, 33, also fits in the Rockets’ recent history of late-season veteran additions, moves that have brought in Michael Beasley and Joe Johnson and generated mixed results. On Thursday, they are expected to sign veteran forward DeMarre Carroll when he clears waivers, according to two individuals with knowledge of the team’s plans.

Even if Green replaces Sefolosha as the backup center, that would still give the Rockets 10 players in the rotation, assuming coach Mike D’Antoni looks at Carroll down the stretch, too. That would seem to be more than he would play in the postseason, making the final eight weeks of the season valuable to experiment.

The Rockets are 34-20 this season, which is the 5th best record in the Western conference.

The team recently traded the only center who played real minutes, Clint Capela, and didn’t replace him with a similar player. Smallball or bust, apparently.

Rockets waive forward Gary Clark

The Houston Rockets have waived forward Gary Clark.

Clark was eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft and originally signed with Houston in July of 2018. In two seasons as a Rocket, he appeared in 69 games with two starts, while averaging 12.4 minutes played.

Following his senior season at Cincinnati, Clark was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He was also the AAC Defensive Player in each of his final two seasons with the Bearcats.

Rockets sign William Howard to two-way contract

The Houston Rockets signed forward William Howard to a two-way contract today.

Howard (6-8, 207) was playing for Salt Lake City in the NBA G League and is the eighth GATORADE Call-Up of the season. In 15 games for the Stars, Howard averaged 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.1 3-pointers made on 43.7% shooting.

Prior to joining the Stars, Howard was with Utah during training camp and the preseason. He spent the past seven seasons playing professionally in his home country of France.

Rockets give Chris Clemons a standard NBA contract

Earlier today, the Houston Rockets converted the two-way contract of guard Chris Clemons into a standard NBA contract.

Clemons (5-9, 180) was eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft and originally signed with Houston on July 3. He has appeared in 20 games for the Rockets this season and is averaging 21.1 points and 5.5 3-pointer made per 36 minutes played. Clemons has also averaged 21.6 points in five G League games for the Rockets affiliate, Rio Grande Valley.

As a senior at Campbell University last season, Clemons led the nation in scoring with 30.1 ppg. He finished his career with the third-most points (3,225) and the fifth-most 3-pointers made (444) in NCAA Division I history.