1. Rockets’ title chances
Heading into the 2019-20 season the Houston Rockets were viewed as the favorite to win the Western Conference, which made sense considering the fact that their Achilles heel, which was the Golden State Warriors, were no longer a threat.
But the season hasn’t quite gone the way many would have expected, as the Rockets currently hold the fifth seed in the Western Conference. We’ve seen the Rockets lose games to lottery teams who they should’ve been able to beat even without a full roster.
But the Rockets had success with the small-ball lineup, which made them go all-in on this strategy. We’ve heard general manager Daryl Morey say how the Rockets have a better chance to win whenever they’ve turned to this strategy.
Many around the league have also noticed how much better the Rockets have played since they’ve doubled down on this lineup, and Perkins is no different, as he had the below to say:
“I’m telling you I’m not counting this Rockets team out. And I would not be surprised if they happen to be in the Finals because they are really doing something different and I just don’t see how a team can adjust to that. If they are hot and they reach their ceiling, its going to be a problem.”
Perkins is right in that we’ve not seen a team fully commit to this strategy to the degree of the Rockets, as they traded their 25-year-old center Clint Capela in order to be able to play their desired style of basketball.
Perkins is also right by stating that the Rockets are unstoppable if they get hot, as they’re impossible to beat when they’re hitting their 3-pointers, which is what they’re banking on with this scheme. We’ve already seen games that have told this story, as the Rockets can certainly catch fire from downtown.
When this happens, there isn’t anything that can be done to stop this, and the likelihood of opposing teams being able to match 3-point shooting on the Rockets’ best shooting nights is simply unlikely. This does give them consideration for winning the West, and Perkins says he wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen. Perkins has held the belief that the commitment to small ball has given the Rockets a better chance at winning a title, which is the opposite of what we’ve heard many of the national audience say.