Despite their playoff failures in the second round for two straight years, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is steadfast in his belief with his core.
The Rockets have underwhelmed in the past 2 seasons, only getting 4th seed in each of them. Despite James Harden playing at historic levels, the rest of the team has not risen to the challenge.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson put them to the sword in last year’s playoffs. This year, it was LeBron James and Anthony Davis’s turn to pummel the Rockets’ small-ball lineup.
Why Tilman Fertitta remains optimistic about his team’s chances
One of the reasons why the Rockets did not get going in the bubble this year was Russell Westbrook’s rustiness. The All-NBA guard was coming off Covid-19 and then a foot injury, hurting his ability to perform.
Westbrook shot terribly through the bubble, but he will definitely be better when fully fit. Both Harden and Westbrook are in their early 30s, and as yet there is still time for them at the peak of their careers.
Rockets owner Tilman Fetitta on CNBC: “There is no reason to blow up your roster. This is still our window, the next couple of years. James and Russell are in their early 30s. We’re not blowing up anything. We plan on contending. We’re going to do whatever we had to do to win.”
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 20, 2020
With Daryl Morey and Mike D’Antoni out of the picture, expect the Rockets to engage in some more traditional basketball philosophy in their pursuit of a title.
Both Harden and Russ are willing facilitators, and a center in the lineup would get some really juicy dimes.
The problem for the Rockets is their cap situation and their lack of assets to trade for another player. They need a reliable tertiary scorer. Eric Gordon will no longer cut it.