The NBA Countdown crew discussed the Houston Rockets title chances on Saturday. Jalen Rose brought up Oscar Robertson as an example of a guy who put up big numbers throughout his career for one team and then took a backseat in his first season on a new team and won a championship. Can Russell Westbrook be that guy for the Rockets? Paul Pierce and Jay Williams think so.
It's not as crazy as it sounds. Do I think it will happen? No, but is it possible that the Rockets can win the title with Russell Westbrook? Sure.
There are plenty of reasons to be frustrated with Westbrook's game - mostly his decision-making and shooting - but he's still one of the best players in the NBA. His upside is high. Just last night he scored 40 as the Rockets beat the Clippers.
The Houston Rockets have disappointed in the playoffs during the James Harden era, but that's only because the expectations have been so high. Harden's Rockets have lost to the Golden State Warriors the last two seasons. That's what was supposed to happen. The year before they lost to the 61-win Spurs team that went on to lose to the Golden State Warriors. Yeah, they could have won one or two or all of those series, but somebody had to lose. It's disappointing, but it's not like any of these series were like Virginia losing to UMBC in March Madness.
Will they? Probably not, but they're currently just a half-game out of 2nd in the Western Conference. They've got a shot.