Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Comparing offseasons so far with West’s top teams

Anthony Duckett
SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 2: Clint Capela #15, Chris Paul #3 and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets link arms for the national anthem of the game against the Sacramento Kings on April 2, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 2: Clint Capela #15, Chris Paul #3 and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets link arms for the national anthem of the game against the Sacramento Kings on April 2, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 09: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets tries to drive through the defense Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz in the first half of a NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 09, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 09: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets tries to drive through the defense Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz in the first half of a NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 09, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

The Jazz

The Utah Jazz certainly shouldn’t be overlooked as they’ve gotten much better this off-season with the additions of Bogan Bogdanovic and near-All-Star point guard Mike Conley, which adds two dynamic scorers alongside Donovan Mitchell. Bogdanovic carried the Indiana Pacers after losing Victor Oladipo, and averaged 20.9 points per game after the All-Star break and shot 42.5% from three on the season.

The Jazz also added Ed Davis, but lost Derrick Favors to the Pelicans. They clearly added many parts, but it will take time for them to learn to play together, as Mitchell has been very ball dominant and a heavy isolation scorer. In addition, the Rockets recently have had their number in the post-season.

The Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets were viewed by many as the surprise team in the West, yet they finished only one game better than the Houston Rockets. This was in spite of the Rockets having a slow start to the season, en route to going 11-14 through the first 25 games. The Rockets also defeated the Nuggets in three of the four games in which they played one another.

The sole game the Nuggets won, the Rockets were playing without Clint Capela, who averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds against the Nuggets in 3 outings against them during the regular season. In addition, the Nuggets, like the Rockets, didn’t add any pieces in free agency or acquire any additional pieces via trade.

Next: Playoff experience of the Rockets

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