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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Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images /

CP3 in Houston

By contrast, the first year Chris Paul got to Houston, the Rockets finished with the most wins in Rockets history, posting a record of 65-27 and finishing with the top seed in the West and the best record in the NBA. This was in spite of the Rockets facing many questions of whether a Harden/CP3 pairing would work on the floor. The Rockets found themselves up 3-2 against their nemesis, the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 Western Conference Finals, although that game proved to be costly as CP3 got hurt.

We don’t know whether or not a healthy CP3 would have propelled the Rockets to close out the series in Game 6 in Oakland, but there is little doubt whether the Rockets would have won the series with a healthy CP3. It was a surprise when the Rockets lost in Game 7 in Houston, despite leading 54-43 at halftime of that game. So to recap, the Rockets surprised fans in each of the previous playoffs by not getting beat by the Clippers and by getting beat by the Spurs at the Toyota Center.

This was a much different type of surprise than coming back to beat the Clippers and getting embarrassed at home against San Antonio. This was a surprise that the Rockets didn’t win the West and dethrone the Warriors, after taking them to a Game 7, which the Rockets had never done previously against that Warriors team. The Rockets were also the only team to take the Warriors to 7 games in those entire playoffs.

Next: This year

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