Houston Rockets: Will They Be The Best In The Biodome?

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

"As the NBA gets ready to finish up their season many teams are seeing key contributors opt-out. Will this help make the Rockets run at a title easier?"

As the NBA prepares to enter it’s bubble and start this odd conclusion to an insane season, I figured it would be a good time to revisit the Rockets championship aspirations. As teams and players navigate the unusual circumstances Houston has had a few things break their way.

First the Western Conference favorites have been impacted pretty deeply. The Lakers loss of Avery Bradley is more significant than many think. Bradley is an experienced veteran who has played in big games. He’s a solid shooter and defender and an intelligent player. By bringing in J.R. Smith to replace him the Lakers are replacing almost none of those qualities. I guess Mike Miller and Boobie Gibson weren’t available.

Dwight Howard’s return is also up in the air and this could be an even bigger loss. It both pains and amuses me to say it but the guy who tried to steal Shaq’s nickname has been a big part of L.A’s success. Anything that leads to more playing time for Javale McGee is NOT going to help your team. Say what you will about Howard, and there’s alot to be said about a guy who alienated at least 5 different franchises, but he was a godsend to L.A. this year.

The Clippers may or may not have benefitted from all this time off. Their best line-ups have played together sparingly all season due to injuries and load management. Marcus Morris can be subtraction by addition in the wrong environment and the Clips missed out on the stretch of season where they would have had a chance to find their rhythm and a rotation

This opens things up for the Rockets who, as of now, are only losing Thabo Sefalosha. His replacement , Luc Richard M’bahmoute is a similar player and neither guy was/is going to play many minutes in the postseason. Houston’s core is mostly intact and healthy, and their lack of size may not be an issue if they can get matched up against either L.A. team in the later rounds.

The Rocket’s toughest matchup actually may be a team they would face in an earlier round…the Denver Nuggets. Denver has the interchangeable parts to match up with Houston’s odd lineups, and they have a skilled big man to exploit them in Nikola Jokic. However Jokic and other members of Denver have also tested positive for the virus and their availability could be an issue. If it is, there’s another bullet dodged.

With several teams closing down their facilities and more players testing positive it’s an open question as to exactly who will be representing teams by the time the actual playoffs roll around, but Houston’s championship window maybe widening just a bit. Now if we could just get Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin locked in the bubble with them what am exciting post season it could be. Until then….Viva Los Biodome!!

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