How The Rockets Died By the Three.
Throughout the playoffs, I will create a playlist for every team once they are eliminated from the postseason. The music will act as an exit interview for fans to enjoy (or cringe) during the offseason. Every artist on the playlist is either from or affiliated with the losing city.
Another disappoint finish for the Houston Rockets as they fell to the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Despite having home court advantage though out the playoffs and a 3–2 series lead, they succumbed to the two major question marks heading into the season. Houston is home to some of the most diverse music in the world. The versatile of the music that comes out of H-town can explain how the Rockets let another season go to waste.
Ego: Beyonce ft. Kanye West
There’s a great book called Ego is My Enemy, by Ryan Holiday that talks about how the ego is what holds most people back from achieving success. Coach Mike D’Antoni has revolutionized the current NBA. He face criticism for the way he ran his 7-seconds or less offense back in the mid-2000s. Now half the league is shooting as many threes as those Phoenix Suns teams did almost a decade ago. He is a offensive guru; yet, in the biggest moments his teams fail to execute when it matters the most.
The Rockets proceed to go 0–27 on three point attempts to finish game 7. The missed 29 of their last 30 3s attempts. The amount of missed 3s was an all time record.
Just in the third quarter alone the Rockets lost a 11-point halftime lead by going 0–14 from 3s. The North pole had more heat emanating from their homes then the Rockets had in their home arena. Other teams would consider changing up their style in a game that they must win to reach their first finals in over two decades. But not the Rockets, has they continued to miss from deep. Now their season is over, and D’Antoni has to hear criticism about how his system doesn’t work in the biggest moments. Sometime the ego really is the enemy — except for Beyonce, she’s perfect.
The Game Belongs To Me: UGK
Despite another failed postseason experience, James Harden is expected to receive his first MVP award. Harden lead the league in scoring (30.4) while leading the Rockets to a franchise record 65 wins this season. Harden finished as the runner-up to both Steph Curry (2015) and Russell Westbrook (2017) over the last few seasons. No one can dispute Harden’s internet sensational moves this seasons.
Ankle busting aside, Harden still can’t shake the shame of again coming up small in the biggest game of his career. Despite scoring 32 points, he was held to 2–12 shooting from the 3 point line and lost a 3–2 lead with game 7 on his home court. A bitter-taste for what was a record breaking season.
Welcome 2 Houston: Slim Thug ft. Various Artist
Like every NBA team, the Rockets will look to add Lebron James to their roaster this offseason. Though it’s difficult, it is possible to have James, Harden, and Paul on the team. The easiest way to have James relocate his home address is for James to opt-in to his contract and then traded to the Rockets like his friend Chris Paul did a season ago. This would require the Cleveland Cavaliers to agree to this deal, and Dan Gilbert doesn’t have the best relationship with Lebron James.
If James joins the Rockets could make the team title favorites; however, it would mark the first time James has ever left the eastern conference. A conference he has dominated since the turn of the decade. The biggest question for the Rockets isn’t even attaining the services of James; but, retaining Paul as he enters free agency.
Paul played only 63 of a potential 97 games this season. He’s missed significant time over the past few season; dealing with lower body injuries especially. There is argument that this was Paul’s last season as a elite player. Data shows that point guards show a sharpe decline after their age-32 season. Paul turned 33 during the postseason.
Paying a point guard that much money in his mid-30s is unheard of, and would destroy the Rockets cap space for years to come. Ideally a short term contract for Paul would make sense for both parties; but, Paul has already stated that he will not take a home-town discount to stay with the Rockets. Ball is now in Moneyball Morley.
Make sure to check out the 10-track playlist for the Houston Rockets season.