The 2022 NBA Playoffs are inching closer to their inevitable climax after several weeks of drama. Here is what the Rockets can take away from what we've seen so far.
The best teams learn from the successes of others. It might be too much for the Houston Rockets to expect to turn their franchise around overnight after watching a few games in the playoffs, but there is still plenty to take away from the successful (and not successful) approaches.
For starters, the Rockets should be able to see that a good core outweighs a superstar more often than not. Outside of Luka and the Mavs, there aren't many examples of one guy carrying a team like we have seen in other years.
Giannis lost without much of a supporting cast, Kevin Durant was swept in the first round, and the MVP winner didn't look all that valuable in a first-round exit.
Teams like the Heat, Celtics, Warriors, and even the Grizzlies to some degree have looked very good due to excellent contributions from the guys that aren't the stars.
The Rockets can repeat this if they go about roster construction in the right way. Yes, guys like Jalen Green are extremely important, but who are you putting around him?
The other biggest takeaway that stands out the most is the importance of shooting the three. Both Game 7s on Sunday were blowouts due to one team being able to shoot from deep and the other struggling.
The Bucks looked like they might be able to overcome some downright terrible performances in this area, but even having the best player in the league wasn't enough to overcome this deficit.
While the Rockets are already doing a decent job of improving their effectiveness from three by letting Green and KPJ do their thing, they also need to go after draft picks and depth guys that can do this successfully as well. It might also mean moving poor three-point shooters like Jae'Sean Tate to depth roles until they start to develop.
While these two things seem like they should be obvious in the modern iteration of the game, it's clear that some teams believe themselves above the conventions that put great teams in those positions.
The Rockets can't think of themsleves as different. If they want to be great, they're going to at least need to start here.
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