The Houston Rockets will not be making an appearance for the NBA Finals this year. The plane has already taken off without them. They will not be reaching the conference finals either, and the reason why is the San Antonio Spurs.
While the Warriors wrapped up their season by clinching the Western Conference, with a record of 67-15, the Spurs were right behind them. San Antonio capped off their 16-17 campaign as the second place team of the West with a record of 61-21. They brought their first round opponent’s season to an end.
It took the Spurs six games to do it, but they took their first round series 4-2 over the Memphis Grizzlies. They sent the Grizzlies packing their bags. Memphis will not be the only team’s season that is ended because of the Spurs either, another team just joined that list, the Rockets.
As Houston ended their season as the third place team of the West, going 55-27, it was more than enough to earn them a spot in the postseason. Earning an advancement was something that the Rockets had to do themselves. They maneuvered through the first round with ease.
Houston defeated the Thunder, 4-1 in the first round. They are the reason Oklahoma City’s season is over with. Their second round opponent, the San Antonio Spurs did not go down as easily, or at all.
The Rockets walked away with a win in Game 1, but their luck did not last long after that. San Antonio took Game 2, and 3, and entering Game 6, the Rockets were facing elimination as the Spurs lead the series 3-2. In Game 6, the Spurs closed in on the Rockets.
With James Harden shooting just 2-11 from the floor, the game did not end well for the Houston Rockets, according to Yahoo! Sports. Houston suffered a 114-75 blowout loss. As they were left to 39 points unanswered for, they were eliminated from the playoffs.
One bad thing for the Rockets was James Harden’s struggles. He has been their All-Star talent. He had a loud regular season, and was one of the most productive players on their team. He drained 29 points per game, which was even up a few points from his career average of 22 a game.
When it came to the playoffs, he was not as big of a presence on the court for the Rockets. His postseason was quiet. In result of Harden struggling, the rest of the team did as well. There are a few theories behind his lack of productivity during the postseason.
One of them is that Harden was overplayed during the regular season, he did not get enough rest, and it may of came back to bite him in the postseason. Whatever the reason is the Rockets need to figure it out going forward. It was costly for them this year.
Can the Houston Rockets make the postseason next year? Were the Spurs just a better team? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cody Macleod