A 20-game winning streak … which equals the 2nd longest in NBA history … has propelled the Houston Rockets to the upper echelon of different Power Rankings compiled by NBA experts …
And, yet … there are still divergent opinions about Houston’s long term prospects for
i) making the playoffs this season (in the ultra difficult Western Conference);
ii) going beyond the 1st Round of the Playoffs; and, eventually,
iii) winning a 3rd NBA championship.
Q1. What’s ahead for the Rocket’s version of NBA Moneyball?
A1. The current edition of the Rockets are built to (i) withstand a season-ending injury to their dominating #1 Center, (ii) win their fair share of regular season games, and (iii) even put together an historic 21-game winning streak … but, unfortunately, just like the principles of “MoneyBall” tend to run out of steam, annually, in the MLB post-season tournament … so, too, will such a fate befall an outfit in the NBA that adheres to this ‘statistical-based’ methodology for constructing its team with designs on ‘going the distance’ in June.
As Moses Malone first alluded to, 25 years ago … it (only) takes, “4, 4, 4 and (today) 4” wins to capture the NBA championship … and, MoneyBall-based teams, not built along these lines to begin with, are simply not equipped to get the job done right in this type of “quadruple 7-game series” environment.
NBA championships are won by teams that can …
I) Rebound, Defend and play efficient Offensive basketball, in a balanced way; with,
II) either 2 or 3
super ‘star’ players who can both (a) create and (b) take advantage of the different mis-match situations that exist on the floor, due to their unique and complimentary skill sets.
Without Yao, this no longer applies to the Houston Rockets.
Just watch & see.