Reputations at Stake
Obviously, there’s an underlying pressure on the Houston Rockets for sure. In case you haven’t read the article by our fellow House of Houston writer, look up at the link. Even if we feel this is our year to win it all, you can’t help but agree with a few points.
Considering that James Harden is the NBA equivalent to Clayton Kershaw when it comes to regular season and postseason while Chris Paul has never been past the second round of the NBA Playoffs, it’s almost like they had no choice. The Houston Rockets couldn’t rely on Harden alone much like the Clippers had underachieved. Houston needed to join the club. It’s no secret that today’s NBA is all about Superteams. Have two or three of the best players in the league join forces and go win a championship.
This is not the same NBA where you have tighter defenses and teams wanting to beat the hell out of each other to win it all. You won’t see Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson joining forces unless it was for the Olympics.
But this is a new breed of the NBA. Harden and Paul have both agreed to sign on. But with the opportunity for a chance to bring title number three to Houston comes great pressure.
Title or Bust
This is a make it or break it year for Houston. We know that. Everyone else knows that. But what everyone else wants to know is how will the Houston Rockets fail this time. It can’t get any worse than game six against San Antonio, can it?
If we don’t win it all, then the naysayers will once again be right. Harden and Paul can’t win a championship even if they join forces. It’s impossible to win. The Houston Rockets will be known as a great regular season team that chokes in the playoffs. Sad and unfair as it is, that is the truth.
But maybe there is a silver lining to all this. Perhaps if we continue to struggle and get eliminated in the playoffs, we’ll have an understanding as to how to win against the teams that beat us. When was the last time that happened in the NBA where a team learned to lose to the same opponent before having the torch passed to them? I want to say it was the Bulls with MJ leading the way.
Perhaps if the Rockets do learn more, maybe the torch will be passed to them. That can be a great thing as well.
However, there is one problem with this theory. That comes from the second problem that we face.