Will the Houston Rockets Miss the Playoffs in 2019-2020?

The Western Conference in the NBA so far this season has improved big time. The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Anthony Davis in a trade and signed other free agents like DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo.

The Los Angeles Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard and also traded for Paul George. They won 48 games last season with just a bunch of role players.

The Utah Jazz traded for Mike Conley and signed some other role players in free agency like Ed Davis, Jeff Green, and Bojan Bogdanovic.

Even though the Golden State Warriors took a step back, they will still be very good because of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and D’Angelo Russell despite the Klay Thompson injury.

The San Antonio Spurs will always be there because of Greg Popovich. It would be a shock for them to miss the playoffs.

The Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers also got better during the offseason.

A team that has not made any changes this offseason is the Houston Rockets. Is it possible they could miss the postseason in 2019-2020?

General Manager Daryl Morey has been opened to making changes this offseason, but he still hasn’t made any. Head Coach Mike D’Antoni is in the final year of his contract. The progress of him getting a contract extension is not good right now.

There has been tension between Chris Paul and James Harden. The Houston Rockets potentially don’t feel threatened out west now. Even though some teams have gotten better this offseason on paper and they haven’t, Houston feels like they could win the west because the Golden State Warriors are now depleted. Golden State has been their kryptonite in the postseason.

The roster that is currently constructed is good enough to reach the postseason. Nonetheless, it is very possible the Rockets are scrapping it out for the potential number eight spot. That could be with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings. Even though Houston finished in the fourth spot last season in the west with a 53-29 record.

They finished with the best record in the NBA two years ago at 65-17. Then, the Houston Rockets were one win away from reaching the NBA Finals. Thus it is possible that their championship window could be closed.

I think the Los Angeles Clippers will be the number one seed. The Denver Nuggets will be the number two seed. I think the Portland Trail Blazers will be the number three seed and the Utah Jazz will be the number four seed. That will put the Golden State Warriors as the number five seed. Also, I think the San Antonio Spurs will be the number six seed and the Los Angeles Lakers will be the number seven seed.

That leaves the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Sacramento Kings for that eighth spot. Out of those teams, it should be Houston. However, New Orleans and Sacramento are on the rise in a tough western conference. The Dallas Mavericks, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Phoenix Suns, and the Memphis Grizzlies will not have a chance to reach the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season.

However, there is a rumor out there that Houston is looking to trade for point guard Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Houston Rockets were able to acquire him, I would find it hard to believe they would miss the playoffs.

That would mean a young and upcoming team(s) like New Orleans and Sacramento would have to wait another year to crack the postseason bracket.

If they don’t get Westbrook, I could see the Houston Rockets missing the playoffs. Especially with all of the turmoil they have going on. I could see that eighth spot going to the New Orleans Pelicans because of Zion Williamson and all the other moves General Manager David Griffin has made so far this offseason.

How do you feel about the Houston Rockets? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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