Rockets 2020 Title Odds: 0%


An in-depth look in to the likelihood of the Houston Rockets winning the 2020 NBA Championship

Rockets 2020 Title Odds: 0%

The Houston Rockets have ZERO chance at an NBA title in 2020. Covid-19 bubble or not, they never had a chance, not even as a “dark-horse.” The only path to a title is catastrophic injuries to a least 3 teams, which is beyond unlikely. Actually, for simplicity, we’ll also call that 0%.

Lack of a SuperStar

To me, a superstar is defined as a player who, when inserted into any roster, automatically creates a title-contender. “But Harrison, that’s what the Rockets are with Harden AND Westbrook.” Wait, we’ll get there.

The list of superstars is small. Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are absolute locks for this list. Rounding off the list is Steph Curry, who might be a fringe mention here, but he has history on his side. Giannis hasn’t had postseason success yet, but his skill, body, personality, and development provide him with enough support for this list. As a Laker fan, I’m hoping I can add Anthony Davis to this list soon.

Harden has had no success in the postseason. He never got over the Warriors hump, and lost (albeit young) in his only finals appearance. As a former daily fantasy player, I can tell you that the man is inconsistent. He’ll give you 50+ points a night, and then follow it up with a miserable performance. That’s not a superstar. Oh, and we didn’t even mention his lack of defense. He is on the list of “wannabe superstars” and the list of players that stole a regular season MVP award from Lebron James.

Westbrook can’t shoot. He is a 1B on a title contender, yet he thinks he’s a 1A. He chased Kevin Durant out of OKC with this attitude and unwillingness to not shoot. He shoots career 40% FG, and 30% from 3. Fair enough, but his numbers from the mid-range are abysmal. Despite this, he keeps shooting. He should be racking up record assist numbers (given his unique athleticism), and quit padding his rebound stats.

Like Harden, he turns the ball over way too much. Several years ago, both he and Harden smashed the single-season turnover record, which is not something to be proud of. In fact, noted Rockets enthusiast Nick Wright called this “the single worst thing you can do with a basketball.” How is this a superstar caliber player?

An old video, but nothing’s changed.

The media fell in love with the triple double. In Russ’ MVP season (2016–2017), he went on to lose in the FIRST ROUND of the playoffs. Funny, but unrelated, it was the Rockets that knocked him out. An MVP shouldn’t be losing in 5 games in round 1. What this means is that: Russ was undeserving of the award, and that he is not a superstar.

Russ cares only about himself and his individual stat-line. That’s fine, he got his money. But this means he won’t win a ring, as basketball is a team sport…

The last team to win a title with no superstars was Dallas in 2011. That was an outlier event. Speaking of Dallas, Luka Dončić appears to be on a path to superstardom.

Oddly enough, Nick Wright is now super high on the Rockets…

Unsuccessful Coach

Mike D’Antoni has had no post-season success in his 20+ year NBA coaching career. He most notably won nothing with the Suns and Steve Nash and the Lakers. Houston is a perfect fit for him: a high powered offense (albeit with no real star) and no defense.


The Rockets never got over the Warriors hump, despite being up 3–1 in a seven game series two years ago. And, to be honest with you, I don’t think the Warriors were ever worried. “But Chris Paul went down hurt.” Yes, and he is another wannabe superstar. The Warriors lost one of their best defenders and former finals MVP in Andre Iguodala, so the injury argument becomes null. They missed their best chance in 2019, and will never be that close with this core. This is a team destined to always come up short (pun intended).

2020 — Small Ball

In the middle of the 2019–2020 season, the Rockets shifted to a small-ball lineup to better utilize Westbrook. While this is good for him, it means that they are sacrificing the rebound category, and they are fighting an uphill battle from the starting tip by making that decision.

In summary, having no prior success, being out-rebounded on a nightly basis, with two wannabe superstars and a bad coach puts the 2020 Houston Rockets at a whopping ZERO percent chance at an NBA title.