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P.J. Tucker confident about Rockets’ chances regardless of playoff seeding

Rockets, P.J. Tucker, James Harden

If the NBA regular season ended today, the Houston Rockets would enter the playoffs as the N0. 5 seed in the Western Conference. But Rockets forward P.J. Tucker feels the seeding is irrelevant when it comes to Houston’s chances to make it to the organization’s first NBA Finals since 1995.

Tucker told Kelly Iko of The Athletic:

We got 25 games [left] when we get back. It’s a mad race in the West right now. Everybody’s right there — even the people out of it are right there. With seeding and positioning, and the end of the day, you have to get your team rolling. We feel like it doesn’t matter where we fall. If we rolling how we are, it don’t matter who we play. It’s more about our team than the big scheme of the West and how things are going.

Houston has fallen victim to the injury bug and consistently poor defensive performances. However, thanks to the MVP-caliber play of James Harden and a three-point barrage (the Rockets lead the league with 15.6 threes made per game), they remain as viable contenders in the Western Conference.

The Rockets nearly dethroned the Golden State Warriors in last year’s Western Conference Finals, but Chris Paul was forced to sit out the deciding Game 7, and the Warriors would go on to win their second consecutive NBA title.

For his part, the 33-year-old Tucker is playing 35.4 minutes, the highest average of his career.

Tucker has become a key cog in holding Houston’s defense together, while also supplying outside shooting and 6.3 rebounds per contest.