With the Houston Rockets sitting on the best record in the league this deep in the season, NBA analysts are finally hopping on the bandwagon.
At 44-13, the Houston Rockets are a half game ahead of Golden State and hold the best record in the NBA.
After the additions of Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright, Houston has become arguably the deepest team in the league. Eric Gordon, Gerald Green and Ryan Anderson gives Houston plenty of scoring punch off of the bench. And of course, James Harden and Chris Paul can carry a team offensively by themselves.
Although, the biggest difference for the Rockets has probably been their defense. Chris Paul is a regular member of the All-Defensive team and Clint Capela is fifth in the NBA in blocks per game. Also, PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute are the type of scrappy wing defenders that Houston has lacked the past few years.
With Houston holding the league’s best record this late into the season, many analysts are wondering if this team can knock off the Warriors.
Charles Barkley says that a potential Rockets-Warriors series is a toss-up
Charles Barkley, who generally dislikes jump shooting teams, is surprisingly optimistic about Houston’s chances in the postseason, via ESPN 975’s Joshua Jordan.
“The Rockets to me are the deepest team and they’re going to finish with the best record in the NBA.”
Not only does Chuck have Houston finishing as the No. 1 seed, he also couldn’t pick a favorite between Houston and Golden State.
“The Rockets against the Golden State Warriors is a toss-up.”
Again, Barkley isn’t usually a fan of teams that rely heavily on the 3-pointer, and he doesn’t like advanced analytics. So if Chuck sees Houston as a serious contender, they’re indeed a serious contender.
ESPN’s Brian Windorst said that the Rockets are specifically constructed to defeat Golden State, via ESPN 975’s Joshua Jordan.
“They’re the first team that was bred to kill the Warriors. The Cavs beat the Warriors two years ago on the back of some circumstances and some incredible play from LeBron and Kyrie. This team is actually constructed to handle the Warriors.”
Windhorst feels like the Rockets have the best shot at defeating the defending champions.
“They’re as deadly of a team the Warriors have faced.”
Besides holding the best record, the Rockets also lead the league in 3-pointers (15.7) and free throws (20.2) made per game. Houston has made large strides on defense, as they currently rank ninth (104.6).
Everyone knows that Houston has the offensive firepower to keep up with Golden State. The real test for the Rockets will be playing well enough defense to contain Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.