4 Things that must happen before Rockets win another championship

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers
Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Houston Rockets have been surging of late, as they find themselves just three and a half games back of the tenth and final play-in spot in the Western Conference. The Rockets have won five games in a row and seven of their last eight, including victories over legitimate postseason contenders, such as the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Even if they don't make the play-in, the season should be viewed as a success, especially considering the injury woes they've been hit with. The Rockets have deemed themselves in phase two of their rebuild, and have been a much improved team at 32-35.

However, they're ways away from phase three, which will be reaching the NBA Finals and/or winning championship. Let's take a look at what they'll need in order to ascend to phase three.

4. Playoff experience

Young teams, like the Rockets, gain a significant developmental boost by simply making the playoffs. Which is why Ime Udoka has prioritized the Rockets simply getting there.

It's important for young guns to play in high stakes games. It matters tremendously. 

Even getting swept in the postseason is still a tremendous gain for young players. It's all a part of learning how to win, which has to happen before any team wins a championship. 

Simply getting playoff experience makes all the difference in the world. It's how Michael Jordan learned how to win.

Same with LeBron James. Same with the great Hakeem Olajuwon. Or just about any great player or team.

The Rockets will need to learn how to win high leverage, high stakes games before they get to phase three.