It’s been over two decades since the Houston Rockets have won a championship, but Hakeem Olajuwon feels like this team has the talent to win a title.
With each passing blowout victory, the Houston Rockets are looking more and more like a serious title contender, and Hakeem Olajuwon is impressed.
The Rockets haven’t lost in over a month, and only three of those games have been decided by less than 10 points. Houston has a stunning average margin of victory of 15.9 points over the 13 game winning streak.
Hakeem Olajuwon brought Houston its only two titles in 1994 and 1995. So its safe to say that The Dream knows a thing or two about championship teams. Olajuwon said that this Rockets team has the best chance to win a title since his championship teams, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
“This is the best chance. They are playing the best basketball in the league and the way they’re doing it, with complementary (basketball) … chemistry … coaching. Everything is coming together at the right time. (Their) small lineup, (their) big lineup, (their) bench.”
It starts at the top
All championship teams are led by at least one great player, and sometimes by two. With James Harden and Chris Paul sharing the keys to the offense in Houston, the Rockets have two of the best playmakers of all time.
Paul and Harden have great chemistry on the court, but they also get along off of the court. To Olajuwon, having two great players that are also true friends is something special, via Feigen.
“Those two guys, they are true leaders. You see the mutual respect. You walk into the locker room and you see that they really like each other. What they have is special.”
Since Paul returned on Nov. 16, the Rockets have won 13 consecutive games. With the win in the season opener in Golden State, Chris Paul became the first player in the shot clock era to win his first 14 starts on a new team. The Rockets are also averaging a league leading offensive rating (117.0) and a third ranked defensive rating (101.4) over that span.
Houston’s backcourt has been so successful because both Harden and Paul understand that they need each other to win. When one of them is struggling, they have no issue with letting the other take over the reigns.
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Harden and Paul make each other better, they make each other more efficient and they help each other shoulder the offensive burden. This give and take relationship makes basketball easier for the duo and in turn puts more W’s in the win column for the Rockets. Sounds like a win-win to me.