Given this past week's schedule for the Houston Rockets and their current batch of injuries, Thursday night was a predictable outcome, even with the Knicks in the midst of a rut. The Rockets actually managed to keep this entertaining for the middle portion of the game, but New York ran away with it in the fourth quarter. Let's look at some Rockets takeaways from the 116-103 loss to the Knicks.

Houston Rockets takeaways from loss to New York Knicks

1. The Rockets really miss Christian Wood

The Rockets look like a shell of themselves when Christian Wood isn't on the floor. Wood has clearly been Houston's best player all season, and the Rockets could have used his stability in the frontcourt. They were outrebounded 40-29 with a 10-rebound difference on the offensive glass. They allowed 26 second chance points that really came back to bite them in the fourth quarter. Going big against the Knicks with Wood as the second center would not have been the worst idea, but Stephen Silas didn't have that option.

2. Unstoppable force (Alperen Sengun) meets immovable object (Mitchell Robinson)

After having a pretty solid road trip for the Rockets, this was probably rookie Alperen Sengun's worst game of the season. In 15 minutes, Sengun had one point, two rebounds, one assist, four turnovers, and no made field goals. Knicks center Mitchell Robinson just completely shut down anything Sengun wanted to try in the post. This had the cascading effect of muting most of his offense for the night. Silas responded by leaning on his better performing center in Daniel Theis, who had 22 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, one steal, and one assist on 8-for-12 shooting.

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“Mitchell Robinson's a very good defender and big,” said Silas after the game. “He didn't move at all when [Alperen Sengun] was trying to do his thing. I also think five [games] in seven nights kind of got to Al P a little bit tonight. He looked a little drained to me. Didn't have the same pop.”

3. Houston needs a break

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Sengun wasn't the only Rocket who looked tired. In addition to the five games in seven nights, this was also the second night of a back-to-back for Houston. The Rockets just didn't have the same verve they showed during their seven-game winning streak, and it showed in the offensive rebounding numbers for New York. They also couldn't contain Evan Fournier or Immanuel Quickley on the perimeter (combined 10-of-16 from 3-point range), and a lot of it was just them being too lethargic to close out.

4. Josh Christopher can take over a game with swagger alone

Because the Rockets have so many options on the perimeter, they hadn't gotten the chance to get an extended look at swingman Josh Christopher until Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green went down. Christopher has a confidence about him that resonates on the basketball court. As a ball handler, he's decisive about driving to the basket and trying to finish. He gives himself the green light to take and make step-back 3s off the dribble. And on the other end, he has the potential to develop into a reliable one-on-one defender.

It'll be interesting to see if he continues to be a part of the rotation when Green and Porter come back.

“When he's out there with D.J. he can be like a secondary ball handler, which is where he's more comfortable right now,” said Silas on Christopher. “I think at some point he'll be able to handle more point guard minutes. For him, it's his shot selection. He's done a good job with his shot selection over the last handful of games. I feel much more comfortable having him out there than I did before, and that's just all him.”

5. Jae'Sean Tate should be featured more once Houston is healthy

Jae'Sean Tate is awesome. It's pretty established how good he is on the defensive end, but his offense often gets overlooked. Tate is a more reliable ball handler than he's given credit for. In this last stretch of games without Green and Porter, he has taken on this role of being a secondary ball handler, which has suited him well. Thursday, he scored 20 points on eight field goal attempts and had six assists to go along with it.

It doesn't look like Houston has a heliocentric guard on the team right now, so it would be prudent for them to try to keep him involved in the offense once those two guards return. Whether it's bringing the ball up and making plays or running dribble handoffs, Houston should look to feature Tate a little more to maximize the talent he's showing right now.