In today’s Daily Rocket Science, we’ll address a pertinent issue. It is time to put some respeck on the Houston Rockets and their quest for an NBA title.
Following an epic win over the defending champions, the world is now a believer in the Houston Rockets. Despite their success throughout the season, it took a heroic second half performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers for Houston to finally get the respect they deserve.
The team’s comeback was so wild that First Take co-host Max Kellerman can no longer deny James Harden‘s honor as the 2017 MVP. “When facts change, so does my opinion.”
Harden is building his MVP case on the nightly basis, leading the Rockets to W after W. The team is playing well enough that Michael Lee of the Vertical considers Houston the West’s premier team right now.
The Rockets have fancied themselves a title contender for much of this season, with Harden, D’Antoni and even Sixth Man of the Year candidate Eric Gordon in the midst of redemptive, y’all-must-have-forgot campaigns. But that talk could easily be dismissed considering the Rockets’ – and D’Antoni’s – style of play has remained unproven in June. Also, Houston isn’t far enough removed from the miserable, bickering season that most of the players, including Ariza, have tried to forget.
And apparently, Michael Lee isn’t the only one. Following the win, Fran Blinebury of NBA.com analyzed Houston’s confidence as a team heading down the stretch.
The Rockets simply keep rolling, having never lost more than two games in a row at any point this season, and keeping on a virtual vise grip hold of the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference standings with a door that could be cracking open wider in front of them. With the full resume, they didn’t exactly need a signature win to stake a claim to legitimacy in the 2017 title race. But taking down the defending champions after spotting them a 14-point lead doesn’t hurt.
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With a little over a month before the start of the 2017 playoffs, it is safe to say that the Houston Rockets are the most dangerous team to watch for. That’s especially true with the injuries to Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge hurting their respective teams.
With the Warriors and Spurs reeling, the Rockets shoot to No. 1 in this week’s NBA Power Rankings, becoming just the fifth squad over the last two years to hold the top spot. Houston is on the verge of clinching a playoff berth with its massive win over Cleveland and becomes just the fifth team to sit in the top spot of the rankings over the last two seasons, joining Golden State, San Antonio, Cleveland and the LA Clippers. I’ll say it again: they’ve got a real chance.
After proving all of the doubters and naysayers wrong throughout the season, it is time for NBA analysts and fans to put some respeck on the Rockets’ name. They might as well respeck their quest to capture that elusive NBA title as well.
Enjoy the season Red Nation and be sure to stay connected with Space City Scoop! We’ll keep you on top of all things Houston Rockets.