3 Lessons the Houston Rockets can learn from this year's playoffs

Should the Houston Rockets pair Alperen Sengun with a Rudy Gobert type?
Should the Houston Rockets pair Alperen Sengun with a Rudy Gobert type? / David Berding/GettyImages
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The Houston Rockets enjoyed a strong 2023-24 season. They were the most improved team in the NBA. Still, they fell short of the ultimate goal.

The team missed the playoffs. That's not a concern. The Rockets are on an upward trajectory. They can feel good about the progress they made in 2023-24.

Still, their absence has left a void. Rockets fans are missing their team. With that said, they can still glean a lot from watching the postseason.

After all, the teams that advanced are the teams in the position that the Rockets want to be in. This organization can learn a lot from what has happened thus far, and so can its fans.

Here are three lessons for the Rockets from the results of the 2023-24 playoffs so far.

1. Super teams are out

Almost every team in the NBA builds through the draft - initially. In time, they need to decide whether they're going to trade some - if not all - of their young core for a superstar or two.

Once a team acquires two elite players through the trade market, we usually designate them as a "super team". So far, those teams aren't having a lot of success in the postseason. The Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers all suffered first-round exits.

The language here is ambiguous. What constitutes a "super team"? Do the Timberwolves count after trading for Rudy Gobert? Surely the Celtics count as a superteam - and they're still in the mix.

Sure. Still, the premature exits of those teams count for something. Meanwhile, the continued success of teams like the Nuggets, Thunder, and Knicks is notable. The Rockets may be forced to trade for a superstar in time, but they should see what they have with this young core first.