Rockets become first Western Conference team to clinch playoff spot
The Houston Rockets have been among the surprises of the 2017-18 season. After finishing third in the Western Conference and losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the playoffs, there wasn’t much of a bright future for the Rockets. In the off-season, however, they acquired Chris Paul and hasn’t looked back ever since.
Houston currently has the best record in the league right now, and it looks to be a serious threat to the reign of the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. Interestingly, the Rockets have played so well this season, that they have the best record in the Western Conference over the likes of the Warriors.
In fact, Houston has become the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot.
Playoff spot clinched! ✔️ pic.twitter.com/LWwmR3LOVo
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 12, 2018
The Rockets have been determined to end the reign of the Warriors this year. With an excellent offense built on shooters and play-making, Houston certainly has the means to run with the Warriors in a potential playoff matchup.
James Harden and company have also improved defensively and won’t be an opponent the Warriors can just walk over. However, the Rockets are a game ahead of the Warriors even after a brilliant season.
The Warriors have a chance to take the first seed away from the Rockets, so Houston shouldn’t get too excited yet. In fact, the Warriors have to face 8 teams over .500 for the remainder of the season.
Houston has to challenge 10 teams over .500. Technically, the team has the harder schedule and should be determined to secure homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.