With the decade coming to a close, the Rockets certainly have a lot to be proud of.
Out of 30 teams, the Rockets are one of four teams with a winning percentage over 60 percent.
The team has also appeared in the postseason seven years out of ten, a feat only 12 teams have accomplished.
While the decade resulted in zero Finals appearances, despite two visits to the Conference Finals, the Rockets fielded a competitive team throughout the entire decade, and we can be thankful for that.
I sent out a tweet on the Dream Shake Twitter account asking fans what their favorite moment of the decade was. Only responses from this Tweet will be listed, so you won’t see James Harden’s 57-point New Year’s Eve spectacular, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith’s amazing fourth quarter against the Mavericks in the 2015 Playoffs or the Russell Westbrook-led comeback against the Clippers just two weeks ago.
Here are the best moments of the decade, according to the fans:
James Harden traded to Houston - 2012
Oklahoma City has traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 28, 2012
Arguably the moment that kicked the Rockets into a new gear came in October 2012 when the team pulled a stunning trade, acquiring James Harden from the Thunder. It was the beginning of an era and the foundation for what the Rockets have built since then.
Carlos Delfino dunks on Kevin Durant - 2013
The James Harden trade pushed the Rockets over the hump as the team made its first playoff appearance of the decade in 2013. Down 3-0 to the 1-seed Thunder staving elimination, Rockets role player Carlos Delfino YAMS it down on Kevin Durant. The Rockets would win the game but fall to the Thunder in the series four games to two.
Troy Daniels stuns the Blazers - 2014
One year later, with Dwight Howard in the fold, the Rockets advanced from the 8-seed to the 4-seed and faced the Blazers in the first round. While this series might have Blazers’ fans favorite moment of the decade, an overlooked hero moment came in Game 3 when Rockets nobody-at-the-time Troy Daniels sunk a three to give the Rockets the lead and their first win of the series.
Corey Brewer, Josh Smith (of all people) lead season-saving comeback against Clippers - 2015
One year later in 2015, the Rockets stepped further into the right direction, securing second place in the Western Conference and their first playoff series win of the decade. Up next came a battle with the Lob City Clippers, who would grow to become one of the Rockets’ biggest rivals in the decade. Despite a 20+ point disadvantage late in the second half, a rally led by Corey Brewer and Josh Smith pulled the Rockets ahead in Game 6 to even the series. The Rockets would win at home in Game 7 and advance to their first Western Conference Finals since 1997.
Rockets acquire Chris Paul, advance to Conference Finals - 2018
Over the next two years, the Rockets would decline, failing to return to the Conference Finals in 2016 and 2017. However, the team acquired Chris Paul from the Clippers and it resulted in Houston’s best regular season performance in the decade. The Rockets won 65 games and the West’s top seed in 2018 and would breeze past the Timberwolves and Jazz in five games. Chris Paul scored 41 in the clincher against the Jazz and the team would advance to its second Conference Finals in four years.
Rockets shimmy past Warriors in Game 5 of Western Conference Finals - 2018
In another battle with Golden State, the Rockets would look to perform better than they did in 2015 — and they did just that.
The most popular gif/moment in the thread depicts Chris Paul shimmying past Stephen Curry during the Rockets’ Game 5 win over the Warriors. The win would put Houston closer to the Finals than they ever came during the decade, but the team lost the last two games of the series and lost four games to three.
James Harden (finally) wins MVP - 2018
While the Rockets never enjoyed more team success than the Game 5 victory in the Conference Finals, James Harden would go on to win the NBA MVP that season. Harden has finished first or second in each of the past four years and since his MVP victory, we have witnessed some insane Harden moments that widened our grins and forced our jaws to hit the floor.
Despite Harden’s insanity, the team failed to reach the Conference Finals in 2019, so the team looked to pair Harden with another All-Star, who will hopefully lead the team to above and beyond in the 2020s.