Houston Rockets: Was the Chris Paul era successful?
The Rockets were an entertaining team to watch, mainly because of James Harden, but that team was never going to be enough to make it out of the Western Conference. In fact, the Rockets couldn’t even get past the San Antonio in the 2017 Western Conference Semi-Finals! Do I have to remind you that the Rockets were only able to score 75 points in a closeout game at home against the Spurs?
If you want to go back further and reference the era when the Rockets had Dwight Howard, let’s go there. The closest the Rockets came to making it out of the West was against the Warriors in the 2015 post-season. Do you remember what happened during that series? The Rockets were defeated in 5 games, and that was before the Kevin Durant era in Golden State. Granted the Warriors still had the best record in NBA history prior to getting KD, but I’m illustrating the point of how far away the Rockets were from a championship prior to CP3.
In fact, during that same post-season, the Rockets found themselves down to a Chris Paul-led Clippers team in the Conference Semi-Finals of that year. It was a shock to many when the Rockets, who were facing a 3-1 defeat, came back and won Game 5 of that series against the Clippers, especially while James Harden sat on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. The Rockets later won that series, which not many would have predicted when they were down 3 to 1.
The best the Rockets had finished during the Dwight Howard era was 56-26, which was during the aforementioned 2014-2015 season. That was the same season in which the Rockets were defeated by the Warriors in 5 games during the Western Conference finals, although getting the second seed in the West.
Next: CP3 in Houston