The 2023-24 NBA season will be a bit different than prior seasons, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver added an additional wrinkle with the in-season tournament. Silver and the league office adopted the idea in an attempt to create games of consequence during the regular season.
“Taking a page from European soccer where they play for multiple cups throughout the season,” he said. “We think taking nothing away from the Larry O’Brien trophy, and the ultimate goal of winning a championship, that you can create another competition within the season that becomes meaningful. And there’s a recognition that new traditions are not built overnight.”
The tournament kicks off on Friday, November 3rd, and the Houston Rockets are in “Group B," which also includes the Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavs, and LA Clippers.
Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant gave his predictions for each group and predicted the Nuggets to win the group, while seemingly snubbing the Rockets.
"The champs. You've gotta go with the reigning champs. You've gotta respect them as that. You can't expect them to lose, even though the Clippers and Mavericks have re-powered and re-tooled and got some players over there."
KD snubs Rockets with latest NBA prediction
Picking the Nuggets is fair. After all, like KD said, they are the champs.
However, mentioning the Clippers and Mavericks as teams that have re-powered and re-tooled, while not mentioning the Rockets is interesting, as they've....*checks notes*...done the same thing.
I mean, the exact same thing. Literally.
The Rockets added Dillon Brooks and Fred VanVleet in the offseason, an elite defender and an All-Star/NBA champion. Not to mention the addition of Ime Udoka, who is a Gregg Popovich disciple with championship experience as well.
But KD is entitled to his own opinion and prediction. The Rockets will just have to prove him wrong during the tournament.