The Houston Rockets 1994-95 season was unique for several reasons. For one, they became the first sixth seed to win the championship in NBA history, and they also made a big move at the trade deadline to acquire Clyde Drexler and still won the title.
It’s not often that a team makes a big move midway through the season and has it all come together in time for the playoffs, as there are more examples of how that isn’t an effective strategy. Players need time to build chemistry, and that isn’t something that comes together on the fly.
Training camp and the offseason are huge as it pertains to building said chemistry and acquiring a player midway through the year obviously doesn’t grant a team that luxury. Several of the top teams this season are attempting to do just that, however, as the Brooklyn Nets acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets earlier this season and the Lakers acquired Andre Drummond via the buyout market.
The Lakers haven’t had the ability to pair Drummond with Anthony Davis and LeBron James yet, as injuries have limited the availability of James. Davis has returned to action in limited minutes however, which is good timing for the Lakers, as they have just 12 games left before the playoffs start.
Robert Horry uses Houston Rockets as cautionary tale for Lakers
Robert Horry knows a thing or two about winning a title, as he’s won 7 championships, including five with the Lakers and the Houston Rockets combined. Horry joined FanSided in an exclusive interview and made a stark comparison between the Lakers this season and the 1994-95 Houston Rockets, while emphasizing the importance of the Lakers’ star trio taking the court together before the start of the playoffs.
“They gotta have a couple of games. They’ve gotta have a couple of games. I remember at one point when I was with the Houston Rockets, we made a big trade and got Clyde Drexler, and we never played together until the last 5 games and then we came together.
And everybody was like ‘Whoa, who is this team?’ Nobody could compare to us or compete with us, so it will be great to see everybody get a couple of games under their belt to see what works and what doesn’t work. Cause there’s going to be things that don’t work when you’ve got guys like this.
It’s a trial and error thing.”
The Lakers currently hold the fifth seed in the Western Conference, due to said injuries, as Davis missed 30 consecutive games due to a right calf strain and Achilles tendinosis in his right leg, while James has missed 18 games and counting due to an ankle injury.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated that there’s still no timetable for LeBron to return to the court, which raises doubt about the trio of James, Davis, and Drummond’s ability to play together, which Horry stated is a must.