They still have a long way to go before they are title contenders but the Houston Rockets are proving they’ve got some fight in them.
After losing 15 straight games, the Rockets recently grabbed seven victories in a row, which seemed unfathomable just a few weeks ago.
While the streak didn’t last forever, it led many to ask if there’s a chance that the Rockets, once the laughingstock of the NBA, could actually make it into the postseason.
Crazier things have happened.
The Rockets Are Taking Off
The Rockets are lacking a single superstar talent on the team but they do have a slew of role players who are getting the job done offensively and that is helping them stay in contention to make it into the postseason.
Garrison Matthews has been so good for the Rockets this season. Ridiculous range, confidence and off-ball shooting versatility.
Averaging 17-3-2-1 since becoming a starter 8 games ago, shooting 40% from 3 on the year, 67% TS, 56th in EPM: pic.twitter.com/XW2vEmVZiM
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) December 12, 2021
During their seven-game win streak, Houston was landing about 40 percent of their shots from beyond the arc and was sixth in the league for three-pointers.
That number has dropped a bit since the streak ended (34.2 percent and ninth in the league for three-pointers) but it’s still a heck of a lot better than it was when the troubled season began.
Wood is a particular point of pride of the team as his 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds a game are giving him double-doubles again and again.
This is all happening without rookie star Jalen Green, who has been sidelined by an injury since their November 24 game against the Chicago Bulls.
Red line is where Jalen Green had an injury pic.twitter.com/Wo5Gb9v3wV
— 𝓑𝓻𝔂𝓬𝓮𝓷 🔮 (@Brycen77) December 9, 2021
It’s true that Green was not an offensive powerhouse but he certainly did help so it’s encouraging to see the team come together in such a strong way without him.
The fact that they are finding their footing is proof that they do have what it takes to make it into the postseason, especially if they keep playing so seamlessly.
It also can’t be ignored that multiple teams in the Western Conference are on the verge of completely falling apart – and that could greatly help the Rockets.
The Rest Of The West
Right now the Rockets sit outside the Western Conference top eight right behind the San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
As we know, none of those teams are performing terribly well right now.
It will be tough competition but it’s very possible that the Rockets could surpass a couple of those teams and make it into the top 10 in the West.
Being in the top 10 is all the team needs, as that allows them to participate in the play-in tournament that will grant them access to the playoffs.
Therefore, if the Rockets can make it into the top 10 they could actually fight their way into the postseason.
That doesn’t seem too far-fetched, especially when you consider teams like the Trail Blazers are falling apart and others, like the Kings and Timberwolves, are terribly inconsistent.
If the Rockets keep getting better and these other teams keep getting worse, Houston could be in the playoffs.
If they pull that off, the next question will be: just how far can they go?NEXT: Rockets Make Professional Sports History With Latest Win