It has been a long wait for fans of the NBA, but that patience has now been rewarded, as we are just a couple of weeks away from the start of the Orlando Tournament. Teams have arrived in the bubble and have gone to great lengths to make things as comfortable for the players as possible. That includes flying in the actual courts used in the home buildings of each team, just to provide a little bit of familiarity n what is a very strange situation. The games will commence on July 30, with each team set to play 8 games each to determine the final standing and the playoff matchups. There are 9 teams in each conference, which could mean a potential play-in series if the bottom 2 teams in the conference are within 4 games of one another at the end. We are going to take a look at the teams involved to see how the rest of their season might play out, so let’s get started with the Houston Rockets so you can make your bets against their NBA odds.
Houston Rockets Return to Play Preview
Houston Rockets Season to Date
Led by James harden, the Houston Rockets have been one of the best teams in the Western Conference over the past few seasons. With the acquisition of Russell Westbrook in the offseason, the belief was that they would be one step closer to a championship. That has not been the case, though, as the Rockets went into the lockdown sitting down in the #6 spot in the Western Conference with a 40-24 record. They are a single game out of 4th and just 2 ½ games out of 3rd so there is still a chance they could move up.
In essence, every team is looking at this tournament as being road games, so home court advantage is basically out the window for everyone. The Rockets are 22-10 at home, and while they have not been as good on the road, they still have a winning record of 18-14 in those games.
When you head into the playoffs, you want to have a winning record against the best teams in the league, which is what the Rockets have at the moment. While 25 of their wins have come against teams below .500, they are 15-11 against teams with a better than .500 record. Offense is not a problem for the Rockets, as their 118.1 PPG is 2nd best in the NBA. Not so great is their defense. They are 22ns overall, allowing 114.4 PPG.
Prediction for the Houston Rockets
The Rockets have had trouble staying consistent all season long and were 6-4 in the 10 games leading up to the shutdown. If they can come out and get hot right off the bat, they could move up in the seedings and give themselves a more favorable matchup in the opening round. I think that this team has the ability to make a run in the playoffs, but I don’t think they are quite good enough to go out and win it all.