Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni knows the Rockets have one of the most difficult schedules in the league, but embraces the competition.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has given basketball fans a reason to rejoice, as he recently concocted a plan that will allow the NBA to resume. Houston Rockets fans have been especially eager to see their team back in action, as we’ve seen a slimmer James Harden and heard the same about Eric Gordon.
When the season gets kick-started, the Rockets will have the sixth spot in the Western Conference playoff race, which is where they were when the league was suspended. But the Rockets will have an opportunity to rise in the rankings, as they’ll have eight remaining regular season games to play before the playoffs start.
It won’t be easy, however, as the Rockets have a tough slate of opponents on the schedule. This caught the attention of Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who joined KPRC’s Randy McIlvoy in an interview that aired on Sports Sunday.
Mike D’Antoni knows the Rockets have a hard schedule.
“We have eight games leading up to the playoffs that are hard,” D’Antoni stated. “They’re almost all against playoff teams, so the competition will be super.”
The Rockets’ schedule is below:
@ Los Angeles Lakers@ Portland Trail Blazersvs. Sacramento Kings@ Dallas Mavericks@ Milwaukee Bucks@ Indiana Pacers@ Philadelphia 76ersvs. Toronto Raptors
This is certainly going to be a challenging sequence of games, but it’ll make for a good test heading into the postseason, as the competition will also be immense during the playoffs. But overall, D’Antoni expressed his excitement with getting the season started back up, while also pointing to the fact that the players are surely excited also.
“I’m real excited. It’s something I’ve looked forward to for three months now. The good thing about it is that everybody is going to start from the exact same spot.
Our guys have been working and we’ve been staying in touch with them as much as we can. Three months is a long time to just keep working out but I know they’re excited about getting started.”
The Rockets have been given the fourth-best odds to win the title by the Vegas odds makers, and for good reason. As D’Antoni pointed out, everyone will be healthy, which is very beneficial for the Rockets, as they’ll have Eric Gordon back to 100 percent. The break will also prove to be beneficial for P.J. Tucker, as the 35-year-old averaged a career-high 34.4 minutes per game this season.
It’ll be interesting to see how high the Rockets will climb in the Conference seedings, especially considering their strength of schedule. D’Antoni will also have additional incentive, as he’s in a contract year and will likely be able to pick his number if the Rockets win the championship.
We’ll just have to wait and see for now.