The Houston Rockets had one of the most improbable finishes in NBA championship history back in 1995. Here’s how they ruined the narrative in the Finals.
Twenty-five years ago, the Houston Rockets completed the greatest playoff run in NBA history by obtaining their second straight NBA title by defeating the Orlando Magic. There was to be no repeat title that season according to the experts. But, the Houston Rockets, who shocked the best teams in the NBA, would put an end to one of the biggest shocks in NBA History.
Houston Rockets fans, as we still wait for the season to potentially resume, we are reminded of a familiar sight. When playoff time rolls around, the Houston Rockets are viewed as a team not in the elite along with the Lakers, Bucks, and the Clippers.
The so-called experts are once again giving us no chance. You can understand why as in the past, the Houston Rockets have fallen short in their goal of bringing in a championship to Houston. Yet, we can continue to hope that James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets find a way to win a title until their careers end even if it isn’t this season.
Right now, the NBA is considering a 16-team playoff format and according to the format, the Houston Rockets would be the tenth seed that would start off against the seventh-seed Utah Jazz in the first round. Win the first round and chances are, we get a Houston Rockets-Lakers showdown in the second round and you can bet on who the talk will be about.
It shouldn’t be a surprise because as Houstonians, we’re used to the scrutiny even if it’s incorrect. Yet, for the experts, they should be given a reminder that just because they believe in their viewpoint doesn’t mean it will happen. Case in point, the 1995 Houston Rockets.
The thing is that there are few teams that have defied the odds and shut up the experts more than the Houston Rockets, especially in their second championship. We take pride in the fact that our team came from the sixth seed, foreign territory for any NBA champion, and reached all the way to the finals. Only the 1999 New York Knicks arrived to the NBA Finals as the lowest seed at eight.
Yet, in a playoff run fool of escapes, drama, tension, and heart, the Houston Rockets got the fans a championship that some have tried valiantly and failed to dismiss because of the absence of a certain goat. I won’t get into asterisks and all that like I did a few entries back, but once again, say it with me, we know the truth.
Anyways, the Houston Rockets were making headlines as they surprised the Utah Jazz, the Phoenix Suns, and the San Antonio Spurs to reach the NBA Finals. What made this run surprising was that the Western Conference was loaded with talented teams besides those three that could’ve reached the Finals.
The three teams Houston defeated had all won 55+ games and the Rockets had knocked off six future Hall-of-Famers (four players, two head coaches) with potential for more.
Now, they were in the NBA Finals once again. This time, they were about to face off against a team that everybody was dubbing to be the future of the NBA, America’s Team, the team that played in the Magic Kingdom and in the place where dreams come true.
Don’t get me wrong, you and I love Disney, but all this talk was getting to be ridiculous to us. Yet, once again, it was to be a coronation. Once again, the party was ruined.