The Houston Rockets have again exited the NBA playoffs in the second round. Fortunately they’re in good company, with NBA Finals favorites Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks also booking a ticket out of The Bubble earlier than predicted by most.
One funny fact about the annual (or perpetual) lambasting of James Harden this playoffs is, he was far from the worst of the superstars ousted from playoff contention. In the the Clippers dreadful game seven collapse against the Denver Nuggets, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams combined (combined!) to score one more point than Harden in the Rockets exit.
Anyhow, the spotlight is mercifully moving on from the Rockets, and perhaps we can move on from a few things as well. The past two years have been a uniquely joyless time in Rockets fandom for me, and perhaps you, too. The Rockets can’t do anything right, even when it very much appeared they were doing quite a lot right. It’s frankly exhausting to be a Rockets fan right now.
What I’d like to do is perhaps, through a series of articles, attempt to reset expectations. 2017-18 is gone. The team that could have, perhaps should have, won a title, is gone. It’s time, past time, to let it go, and attempt to enjoy the team the Rockets have now.
In the spirit of Festivus Come Early I will air a few grievances about the past year or two, and you can air your own. These grievances should be Rockets related, perhaps NBA related, but not related to other commenters here. I think we’ve flayed one another for the Rockets sins enough. If the Rockets haven’t earned any grace through it; it is not for a lack of trying.
So, a few grievances out of many possible ones.
- A lame duck coach for a theoretically contending season was perhaps a bad idea. The situation was badly handled by ownership and management, and firing a coaching staff while retaining the head coach seemed at the time, and now, a terrible plan. So it proved, as Mike D’Antoni exited almost the instant the Rockets did.
- James Harden might be the most versatile offensive player in the entire NBA. Using him in a doctrinaire and predictable way is a waste.
- The obsessive short-term thinking of “This is Harden’s Prime, it must happen now!” will quite possibly considerably shorten Harden’s prime, and the window for contention, by consuming most assets used by successful teams to cheaply support a strong team core over a longer period of time.
- Mathematical advantages that are solid over many samples and longer time periods may not confer any advantage, and may indeed inflict disadvantages over short time periods, such as NBA playoff series.
- If the map doesn’t match the territory, it’s the map that’s wrong. This is #4 said in another way. The Rockets plan isn’t bringing the expected results. Maybe it is not the fault of everything else (players, refs, NBA itself, China) but the plan? It is, at the very least, worth examining.
What Grievances Concerning The Rockets would YOU like to air? Comment below.
Best part of Festivus?
This poll is closed
Feats of Strength.
Always being right about my particular grievances.
Festivus is banned in Dallas.