To wrap up their spectacular 2016-2017 campaign, the Houston Rockets take on the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight in pursuit of their 55th win of the season.
Even if the Houston Rockets lose tonight, and even if they unthinkably lose in the first round to the Oklahoma City Thunder, this season has been a success. The fact that they got to at least 54 wins is a testament to the greatness of James Harden, Mike D’Antoni, and Daryl Morey. I sound like a broken record I’m sure, but nobody thought the Rockets would be this good. Respectable pundits claimed they’d hover around .500 and slip into the playoff picture last second.
With their unexpected success, Houston has been set at the third seed for some time now. As a result, they’ve slipped in productivity lately. They’ve rested starters on multiple occasions and have given about 70% effort throughout the entire month of April. It would do the team a lot of good to give tonight all they’ve got and make a statement with the last game of the season.
There’s a good chance that’ll happen, given the fact that all the normal starters will play the majority of the game. Playoffs are a different animal than the regular season, and a healthy dose of confidence is a must.
MDA said he will play the regulars for maybe 3 quarters in Wednesday's regular season finale.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) April 11, 2017
The Rockets have won two of the teams’ three meetings so far this year, and have won 13 of their last 15 games against the Timberwolves. Before losing to them in January of this year, the last player to dominate the Rockets in a ‘Wolves uniform was none other than Corey Brewer in his 51-point explosion.
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While Harden certainly won’t average a triple-double like his adversary in the MVP race, he has a good chance to set an even more historic record. If he accrues five or more assists tonight, the Beard will become the first player in NBA history to total 2,000 points, 900 assists and 600 rebounds in a season.
James Harden has dropped at least five dimes in every game this season except for one, so he’ll likely hit that mark.
That’s just one more example of how he’s done his part earning the MVP, leaving the difficult decision up to the voters. Harden has one more chance to make a statement tonight against the young T’Wolves, and will be eager to do so.
As usual, the game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports SW. Tip-off will be at 7:00 p.m. Let’s hope the Rockets get out there and claim one last victory this regular season!