Championship Odds: +1300
James Harden: 34.4 PPG, 6.4 REB, 7.4 AST. 1.7 STL, 0.9 BLK
Russell Westbrook: 27.5 PPG, 8.0 REB, 7.0 AST, 1.7 STL
Westbrook did not travel to the bubble with the team because he had tested positive for COVID-19. Westbrook is feeling good and will be joining his teammates as soon as he can.
Eric Gordon: 14.5 PPG, 1.9 REB, 1.5 AST
Robert Covington: 12.8 PPG, 7.9 REB, 1.3 AST, 1.1 STL, 2.5 BLK
PJ Tucker: 7.1 PPG, 6.9 REB, 1.6 AST, 1.1 STL
Thabo Sefolosha: 2.2 PPG, 2.3 REB, 0.6 AST
The Houston Rockets enter the bubble as the 6th seed in the West. With eight games remaining on their schedule they can move up to as high as the second seed, or could drop to the seventh.
When evaluating the Rockets roster you have to look no further than the superstar backcourt tandem of James Harden and Russell Westbrook to know that they have a chance at the finals. Both former league MVPs, Harden and Westbrook lead the charge for the Rockets. Before the league suspension, Westbrook had been playing what may have been the best basketball of his career. Pair that with an AVERAGE night for James Harden and you’ve got yourself a bunch of wins down the stretch.
When the Rockets decided to trade away their young center, Clint Capela, they did so with the idea that they would play “small ball” going forward. The Rockets current “center” is PJ Tucker who stands in at just 6-foot-5. Their small ball lineup makes them the ultimate wildcard for the stretch run, but will it prevail?
Ultimately, I am not a fan of the Rockets small ball lineup. I think that matching up with Western Conference big men such as Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, and Kristaps Porzingis will be to difficult of a task for the Rockets ‘bigs’. Do I think the Rockets will make some noise? Yes, of course. They have an electric backcourt who will win them several games in the bubble, but without anyone to anchor the paint, the Rockets are not a Championship threat.