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2019-20 Houston Rockets Win Total, 08-06-2019

2019-20 NBA Season (74th NBA Season)

Over/Under: 54.5 Wins

2019-20 NBA Championship Odds: 8/1

In the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets finished 53-29 (.646) overall, ranking first in the Southwest Division and forth in the Western Conference. Compared to the 2017-18 season, the team regressed. Two few seasons ago, Houston concluded their season 65-17 (.793). Shooting guard James Harden won his first MVP award in 2018. Unfortunately, after earning the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, they proceeded to lose 4-3 to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. In the 2016-17 season, the team finished 55-27 (.671). While the Rockets had their fair share of ups and downs last season, once again, the Conference Semifinals matchup against the No. 1 Golden State Warriors was underwhelming, to say the least. Despite Kevin Durant's injury in Game 5 and future absence, Houston failed to extend this series to a potential Game 7. They lost 4-2 in this series, resulting in their forth playoff series loss against the Warriors in franchise history (2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18, and 2018-19).

This Mike D'Antoni-coached team had a healthy Chris Paul, James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Clint Capela. Not to mention, this was an MVP-caliber season for James Harden. In 78 games played, he averaged 36.1 points per game, 6.6 total rebounds, 7.5 assists, a 44.2% field goal percentage, and had an overall player efficiency rating of 30.6. Founded in 1967, the Rockets have won two NBA championships (1994 and 1995), four conference titles, and seven division titles. As for Head Coach Mike D'Antoni, he is entering his forth season with the organization. His overall record with the Houston Rockets is 173-73 (.703). Coach D'Antoni's all-time W-L record is 628-499 (.557), which is still decent. Under his tenure, the Rockets' 55, 65, and 53 win totals appeared sufficient enough to satisfy the fanbase and general management. However, the playoffs might be a different feeling for some individuals. They lost 4-2 to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2016-17 Conference Semifinals, 4-3 versus the Golden State Warriors in the 2017-18 Western Conference Finals, and 4-2 against the Warriors in last season's Conference Semifinals. For one favorable aspect, the team is still making the playoffs. Houston has not missed the playoffs since the 2011-12 34-32 (.515) season.

https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/1154517899362521088

https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/1153389403609411586

This highly touted playoff contender has high expectations from NBA analysts each offseason when yet, in the post-season, they struggle to pose as the No. 1 threat in the conference. Either the team is too overhyped year after year, or they struggle to find their rhythm in the games that matter most. It could be a fair mix of both. Though, all in all, Coach D'Antoni has already proven to be one of the team's better coaches in franchise history. In spite of the available talent on that 65-win 2017-18 roster, this was the team's highest win total in franchise history. The coach deserves a considerable portion of credit for these few overachieving years. Additionally, regarding the 2019 NBA Draft, the Rockets had no picks this year. There is logic behind this move, though. On July 11, Houston traded Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook. The Thunder earned a few 2024 and 2026 first-round picks, and the team has the rights to swap picks in 2021 and 2025.

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