The dark horse to win the NBA title this year is clearly the Houston Rockets which I know sounds crazy, but anything is possible in the year when seeing a person walk into a gas station wearing a black face mask doesn’t cause you to dial 911.
The Houston Rockets proved on national television tonight that they don’t fear the deer. The Rockets took down the Milwaukee Bucks 120 to 116 as they hoisted up an NBA record 61 3 pointers.
It was another typical game for the Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo who had 36 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists in the game. If there is a negative to be pointed about Antetokounmpo’s game it should be addressed to the Bucks coaching staff that encourages him to essentially be a point forward during key moments of games.
It’s during those high profile games at high profile times I believe Antetokounmpo could do more damage from the low post especially towards the end of the game. Catching the ball in the low post gives him the ability to pass first or take option two which is certainly higher probability shots from down low than out on the perimeter. Using him out near the 3-point in the last couple minutes of a game makes little sense as it turns the Bucks into a predictable offense.
No Fear In These Rockets
“It’s amazing,” Russell Westbrook said. “We fought through. Adversity showed up and we showed off. All the guys in our locker room showed up to play for 48 minutes.”
Westbrook scored 31 points and James Harden added 24 as the team went 21 for 61 from the 3-point line.
“You have to make the right reads and trust your teammates and that’s what I tried to do all night long,” said Westbrook.
Harden who has been accused of not playing defense as much as Nicolas Cage has been accused of making bad films appears to not be listening to any of the negative hype.
“I’ve got nothing to prove,” Harden said, via USA Today’s Mark Medina. “I’m just happy we got a win. At this point, I don’t care about negative energy. I don’t pay attention to it.”
The MIGHTY Line
As for the Rockets, are you kidding me that they had the nerve to put up 61 3 pointers in a single NBA game? Talk about a coaching staff giving its players the green light which definitely motivated the team tonight.
Now the Rockets are clearly a dark horse to win the NBA title this year. In order for the Rockets to even get to the NBA finals, they will have to take down both the Clippers and the Lakers. The question is can their brand of small-ball actually work throughout the playoffs against larger more physical opponents?
Sure they might be able to take down one of the LA teams, but beating them both really seems like an impossible task, or does it? For months I’ve been saying that if the Rockets are healthy in the bubble, their brand of basketball has a legit chance of winning the title this year.
Playing in a bubble as opposed to traveling around the country is a distinct advantage for James Harden who has caved under the pressure of opposing teams’ home-court advantage on numerous occasions. But remove the travel, remove the heckling fans and sprinkle in extra motivation for Westbrook and Harden and this team is way more dangerous than most members of the media are willing to admit.
Yes, LeBron and Anthony Davis are better and so too is Kawhi and Paul George but in the year 2020, if we proved anything at all at this point, anything is possible especially if your coaching staff is encouraging you to shot 61 3-pointers in a game.