The Houston Rockets are playing like a team on a mission, but their unprecedented approach to the game could be the scariest thing about them.
Don’t look now, but the Houston Rockets are suddenly within two games of the second seed in the Western Conference. Winners of eight out of 10 and on a four-game winning streak, the new roster has come together like they’be been playing basketball as a unit for years.
Houston’s only two losses since making their deadline deals have either been at the hands of a buzzer-beater or on the road without Russell Westbrook. The Rockets’ hot streak has them sitting in sole possession of fourth in the West at 37-20, now at a season-best 17 games above .500.
Contrary to what they were doing at the beginning of the season, Mike D’Antoni‘s club is now holding onto big leads, fighting back from deficits and playing consistent basketball for the better part of 48 minutes.
Only the Los Angeles Lakers, now on a five-game winning streak, are hotter than the Rockets as of Tuesday, pushing their record to 43-12 and inching closer to locking down the number one seed in the West. Houston and Los Angeles split their first two meetings, with a season series-deciding game set for March 12th at 10:30 pm ET.
The improved play of the team due to James Harden‘s continued dominance, Robert Covington‘s defensive presence and hot outside shooting have caught the attention of the national media over the last week, even winning over previous detractor Kendrick Perkins.
Of course, we’ve all seen this movie before: the Rockets getting hot after the All-Star break, getting fans’ hopes up only to let everyone down in April and May. While it’s understandable to be cautious in our optimism, there are a few aspects to this team that are unlike any of those recent collapsing teams that should be on everyone’s radar.
Next: No. 3