This is a strange feelings for Rockets faithful. Typically, we have the joy of watching James Harden and company grind it out for 82 games, land a seed in the top four, and get mercifully eliminated by the Golden State Warriors — still too soon?
Though, under Harden, the Rockets were never able to bring home a championship, Rockets fans have been spoiled with a promise of a postseason trip and even contending for a championship. In fact, last year after the Spurs were eliminated from playoff contention, the Rockets had the longest active playoff streak with eight straight appearances. Granted, it’s fair to say it paled in comparison to the Spurs’ 22-straight appearances, but it did set the mark for the most in franchise history.
So it’s safe to say that it is an odd phenomenon to go from a shoo-in for a postseason appearance every year to being eliminated from the playoffs even well before you were even mathematically eliminated. What are we, the freaking New York Knicks? Well, no, cause it looks like they’ll make the playoffs.
There is some positive news, though. I really did want to be more “woe is me” — trust me, I did. But then Kevin Porter Jr. went and did what we all hoped (and knew) he would do. He went and dropped 50 points. Not only 50 points, but he had 11 assists too. And not only 50 points and 11 assists, but he did it against the Milwaukee Bucks in a win.
That means I would actually be hard-pressed to tell you it’s really lame the season ends like this, and there’s not much left to watch for with the nine remaining games the Rockets have, but I would be wrong. The Rockets do have some really young and special players in the like of Jae’Sean Tate, Christian Wood, and Kevin Porter Jr., so there is as much reason to watch any team that’s currently in Houston’s state.
The best advice I can give you for these remaining 16 days of the Rockets season is to just watch, enjoy seeing the game of basketball, and remain hopeful for the future. Eight years of success and a generational talent can come and go in an instant, so it’s important to enjoy the little things too.