Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Was the Chris Paul era successful?

Anthony Duckett
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 19: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets hi-fives a fan against the Washington Wizards on December 19, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 19: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets hi-fives a fan against the Washington Wizards on December 19, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TX – MAY 11: Patrick Beverley #2, Trevor Ariza #1 and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Six of the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals at Toyota Center on May 11, 2017 in Houston, Texas. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – MAY 11: Patrick Beverley #2, Trevor Ariza #1 and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Six of the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals at Toyota Center on May 11, 2017 in Houston, Texas. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Before CP3

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

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