Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has already began setting goals for the 2017-18 NBA season. And yes, they’re quite lofty.
Even with a Game 7 loss still fresh in our minds, we can still appreciate this past season. The Houston Rockets not only added superstar Chris Paul along with Luc Mbah a Moute and P.J. Tucker over last summer, but they found a diamond in the rough with Houston-native Gerald Green.
The Rockets proved that pairing Chris Paul and James Harden together was a good decision. Houston went 61-12 in games that Paul played in, making NBA analysts that questioned the move look silly in hindsight.
Houston also proved that their style of play can work in the postseason. The Rockets have often been criticized for being a heavy isolation and 3-point shooting team, but the strategy works for this roster.
They even pushed the Golden State Warriors, one of the most talented teams ever, to seven games in a series. If Chris Paul doesn’t injure his hamstring, the Rockets may very well be in the NBA Finals.
Houston reach their ultimate goal this year, but they are definitely on track. Mike D’Antoni has big goals for his team going forward, as he told ESPN’s Stefano Fusaro.
“Win 70 and win the title. We could do that.”
The Rockets won a franchise record 65 games and were one win away from possibly winning a title this season. No disrespect to the Cavaliers, but the two best teams in the NBA were in the Western Conference Finals.
The 2015-16 Warriors and 1995-96 Chicago Bulls are the only teams in NBA history to win at least 70 games in a season. The Bulls won the ’96 championship, but the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Finals.
Winning 70 games and a championship is a great goal from Mike D’Antoni. The Rockets are still obsessed with beating the Warriors, and that will force them to add more talent in the offseason.
Let’s not forget that Houston secured 65 wins despite the fact that Chris Paul missed 24 games in the regular season. The Houston Rockets are a super talented team that will likely get even deeper heading into next season. Houston could very well have another franchise-record breaking year.