Celtics prove why Houston Rockets fans should be excited
By Rob Leeds
Straight comparisons in the NBA can be a dangerous game as it is difficult to directly recreate success, but signs tell us the Rockets aren't far off from being a great team again.
Pretending that one team can directly recreate the success of another team is a dangerous prospect in the NBA, but let's not pretend that we can't find some similarities between where the Rockets are today and where the Celtics were a few years back.
The Celtics aren't far removed from being the laughing stock of the NBA for stockpiling picks with no route to turning them into playoff wins.
Look where they are now.
Marcus Smart (2014), Jaylen Brown (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017), Robert Williams (2018), and Grant Williams (2019) just played major minutes en route to beating the best player in the NBA in a massive Game 7 moment to move on to the ECF.
We heard for years that the Celtics needed to get more aggressive and move players and picks to give themselves the push to evolve into more than a tough first-round exit, but look who had the last laugh.
This Celtics team is primed to make some serious noise in the Eastern Conference for years to come, and a huge part of that came from hitting on draft picks and devloping youth as they have.
The easiest ways to hit on draft picks is to make as many as possible to hope that the numbers work in your favor. The good news for the Rockets is that they are one of those teams with a mountain of picks.
From trades that the fanbase would look happily upon or otherwise, the Rockets are going to have plenty of chances to build around the young core they have in Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.
Alperen Sengun looks like he will improve with more reps. Jalen Green looked better the more reps he got during the season. Could he turn into a superstar after another year or two at this rate?
All of this is to say the Rockets are in a very good position moving forward. They need to focus on making the most of their upcoming picks and maximizing their value in supporting roles to Green, and the influx of draft picks and playing time should accomplish a lot on that front.
Regardless of the results this upcoming season, the Rockets need to stay the course with their current strategy and focus on the long build to find success for years to come-no matter how much the pundits may decry the process.
The 2022 NBA Draft can't get here soon enough.
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