The Houston Rockets have become the face of hate in regards to the national media and the NBA writers. Here’s why the latest example is the best example!
With the Houston Rockets’ preseason officially over, the annual Houston Rockets hate train has already started to rear its ugly head as it pertains to where the Rockets are projected to finish in the Western Conference playoff race. The latest example of this is FS1’s Colin Cowherd, who put together his Western Conference predictions of the top eight teams and where they will finish in the Western Conference playoff race.
If you notice, something was missing in Cowherd’s predictions. Cowherd doesn’t have the Houston Rockets on his list at all. Without even getting into how erroneous the seedings are, let’s just start there.
It goes without saying that this is a rather bizarre take, as the Rockets have never missed the playoffs since they acquired James Harden in 2012, not to mention the fact that the Rockets have yet to finish worse than fourth in the West since the arrival of coach Mike D’Antoni. Not to mention the fact that the Rockets got better in the offseason despite winning 53 games last season.
This is just flat-out disrespectful, especially considering the fact that Cowherd predicts the Dallas Mavericks to make the playoffs but not the Rockets. The Mavericks have missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, and were first round exits in each of their last three postseason appearances between 2013 and 2016. They will also need time for the newly acquired Kristaps Porzingis to build chemistry with Luka Doncic. Furthermore, in the eight years since the Mavs won the NBA championship in 2011, they’ve missed the playoffs four years and been first round exits in the other four years, which is a far cry from being a contender.
Cowherd has the San Antonio Spurs essentially projected to have a better season than the Rockets, and the Spurs didn’t make any improvements over the course of the offseason. In addition, the Spurs have won fewer games than the Rockets in each of the last two years and have been the seventh seed in the Western Conference in back to back years.
You have to question the motive and agenda of the individual when you see the Rockets left off playoff predictions entirely. They’ve not missed the playoffs since the 2011-12 season, so why would it start now? Especially considering the Golden State Warriors, who have been the team’s arch nemesis, have been significantly compromised. To that point, he has the Warriors finishing as the fourth seed despite losing Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and possibly even Klay Thompson for the entire season. How could he pick Golden State to be the fourth seed and leave Houston out of the playoffs when the Rockets clearly got better this offseason?
It’s expected that the Rockets would garner hate from the national media, which is evidenced by the 18th NBA.com GM survey, but even Cowherd’s take is quite surprising.