Houston Rockets: 5 takeaways from the 2018-19 NBA season

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets, facing injuries and a stacked Western Conference, kept their heads above water and persevered. Here’s what we learned about the team after an up-and-down 2018-19 season.

After a second round exit from the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Houston Rockets once again finished their season short of general manager Daryl Morey’s coveted goal: taking down the Golden State Warriors. It’s not all bad though; the team climbed out of an 11-14 hole to start the year to finish with 53 wins. Much of that is thanks to the 2018 MVP in James Harden, who posted numbers even more ridiculous than last year’s campaign.

Some — even Harden himself — will argue that the slow start to the 2018-19 year is what cost Houston its season, since landing the 4-seed in the Western Conference resulted in a matchup with the defending champs earlier in the playoffs than they would’ve liked. But with Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela under contract for the foreseeable future, they can come right back next year and, with some luck, see the Warriors again in a more ideal situation (especially if players like Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson tests the free agent waters and land somewhere else).

After this season, though, there are definitely some adjustments that need to be made if Houston wants to get as close to a championship as it did in 2018. The common decision franchises resort to are coaching changes, blockbuster trades and free agency signings. But for the Rockets, a team that arguably holds the title as the second-most challenging team in the NBA, their issues need some deeper analysis.

Here are the Houston Rockets’ most notable takeaways from a season that was both exciting and disappointing all at once.