Rockets Suspend Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr. — Full Details

Houston Rockets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Houston Rockets have been a team of runs this NBA season. After losing 15 consecutive games earlier in the season, they followed that up by winning seven in a row and showing some life.

Unfortunately, the success was short-lived. They have lost 11 of 13 games since then, including the last seven in a row. In their most recent game on Saturday against the Denver Nuggets, some emotions began boiling over.

Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood both put on displays of poor behavior on Saturday. Both players did not appear in the second half of the game, but for different reasons. As a result, they are both being suspended by the team for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Porter by that time was no longer in the arena. He left after halftime because of a confrontation in the locker room with assistant coach John Lucas. Lucas ‘challenged’ Porter at halftime, which angered the third-year guard. Lucas was revisiting an issue that led to Porter losing his composure on the bench in the first half, and he lost his composure again in the confrontation.

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Anger-management issues are something that Porter has been working on, as they have defined his NBA career. An outburst over his locker being moved with the Cleveland Cavaliers is a big reason that he is even with the Rockets in the first place.

The team has said that Porter is making progress, but Saturday those issues surfaced again. Despite what ensued over the weekend, the Houston Rockets are still optimistic about his growth development. He has shown some signs as he transitions to becoming a point guard since joining Houston.

Wood also had a run-in with Lucas, which cause him to disengage from the game even further. Wood, who is the team’s leading scorer, was benched to start the game because he did not show up for the daily COVID-19 testing, which led to the shootaround being delayed.

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His punishment was not starting the game and he played an uninspired eight minutes of basketball in the first half. Wood engaged in what head coach Stephen Silas called a spirited debate with Lucas at halftime. One of the younger players on the team also challenged Wood, saying that he should be setting the standard as a veteran leader.

Instead of lighting a fire under him, it just caused Wood to detach further. He would not check into the game in the second half when Silas called upon him, so Silas quickly adjusted and went with different players.

All of the losing could be taking a toll on the players, but they have to carry themselves in a better way. Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood are both players that young guys are going to look to and they need to set a better example.