Houston Rockets: Why this team is still considered an underdog to win it all

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: James Harden
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: James Harden /

With the Houston Rockets having such a strong start to this point, they are suddenly becoming one of, if not the most dangerous teams in the NBA. But even with this kind of start, a theory needs to be put into motion for anyone that questions the city’s identity.

So most of my blogs have usually dealt with the Astros and for good reason. I’ve had some posts about the Texans and their struggles. But yet, I haven’t done one on the Houston Rockets in a long time. Now y’all might think of the theory that I’m not a Houston Rockets fan and that’s not true. I’m a fan of Houston sports in general. Therefore, this post will be on the Rockets.

Houston, we have a super team. Going into this season, the one question everyone wanted to know was could Chris Paul and James Harden mesh on the court. The answer to the question has been an obvious yes. Right now, the Rockets are the best team in the NBA.

At first, the Celtics were a strong contender, but they seem to have slipped a bit. The Warriors are still out there and will likely be the favorites to win the Western Conference and possibly repeat. But yet, the team that is a strong contender are the Houston Rockets. We know that, right?

So what theory out there could cause us to be concerned? Well, there are fans that aren’t showing up for games. I don’t know if it’s because of pricing or it’s still in the early portion of the season and fans will still show up. I don’t know if it’s because people have difficulties getting to the games or are just not into the Rockets since they’ve had a bad rep.

But another theory is that fans are possibly thinking that we’re a strong regular season team, but not a postseason team. Harden will have a true MVP-like season, but he won’t win in the playoffs and he’ll be robbed of the MVP. All the haters are saying Houston will choke.

It’s okay!

Let them think that way.

But this brings me to something I thought about. One theory seems to linger in my mind about Houston. Are we better as the favorites or are we better as the underdogs?

What do I mean by that? Are we better as being talked about nationally right now or when we’re not being recognized? Do we stand a better chance of winning a championship when people start paying attention to us and be on our bandwagon or when we want every hater to be wrong?

Honest evaluation of myself!

Let’s be fair. I do think this Rockets team has a chance to win a championship this year. I thought that last year. I’m more certain we’ll win it this year or sooner. But, I’m not going to be one of those crazy fans that gets a tattoo proclaiming us to be champions. First of all, that’s stupid because you can’t get it off. Second of all, it costs a lot of money perhaps. Third and finally, you’ll end up looking dumb if or when they don’t win.

The reason I don’t set my expectations as high as some other fans is that I don’t want to set myself up for heartbreak. I think that’s a common thing for those that have had to suffer. We always believed that we have a team that can win a championship. But until we get that title, the breaks can go either way.

For the longest time of 22 seasons, we’ve had breaks go against us in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Lakers, Heat, Spurs and now Warriors are getting the breaks needed for them to win the title. The NBA Champion every year must not only be the better team. But they also must have breaks going our way.

A few examples

Having done research, I’ve thought about times when we were favorites in each sports year. By that, I meant when people started to see us as a possible or the championship favorite. Bold means success.

  • 1979 Houston Oilers
  • 1980 Houston Astros
  • 1983 Houston Cougars
  • 1993 Houston Oilers
  • 1994 Houston Rockets
  • 1998 Houston Astros
  • 2012 Houston Texans
  • 2017 Houston Astros

You can see from my recollection of teams, only two seem to do well when they are a potential championship team. My theory is that we do better when we don’t get the love and respect of everyone who doubts us. It’s a sad world we live in and it isn’t fair. But what’s better than beating

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the big media markets to shut them up and make them kiss our rings?

However, when we do get the recognition and people start talking about us, we either don’t live up to expectations or we don’t satisfy them. I know it’s not fair, but at the end of the day, our play determines whether they want to mention us or not.

I can’t do a big experiment on this because right now, the Rockets are playing well right now. So I can only let the season play out. But I can say that for those that are cheering and already getting ready for 2018 NBA Championship gear, let’s take a moment to relax. There will come a time when the Rockets will struggle. It happens, but we have to expect it to happen soon.


It’s okay to cheer for us during this time as we need to be on their side. Whether it leads to a championship or not shouldn’t hinder our support for them. But my personal opinion is that we should settle down and wait and see. Is that a coward’s move or being pessimistic?

Next: How the Rockets have morphed into elite defenders

Absolutely not. Like I said, this team can win the championship. But I don’t want us to go through a period where people trash us for losing like some Astros fans are trashing the Dodgers. (I’m guilty of that myself).

But in the end, we should cheer on Clutch City and the Houston Rockets in hopes that we can win it all.