July 12, 2024

Which NBA Play-In Tournament matchup is most ideal for the Rockets?

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Amid the Houston Rockets late-season surge, dimming hopes of making the play-in have suddenly glistened into more than a pipe dream. The Rockets remaining in play-in contention should be considered a win given the trajectory they were headed in prior to the winning streak, but the thought of making the tournament it is rapidly taking form.

Operating out of cautious optimism towards the possibility of postseason play, I’ve started to ponder which matchups would give the Rockets an even better chance at an extended their season.

Either way, it’s likely that if the Rockets do sneak into the play-ins, it would be as the tenth seed, ninth seed at best. Currently sitting 2.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors, it’s likely that Houston would face off versus them or the Los Angeles Lakers in a one-game elimination.

However, with only four games separating the sixth place Sacramento Kings and the Warriors, there’s still room for the standings to realign. Also joining the clump of teams jockeying for position are the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns.

Regardless, the Rockets would have to beat two of these teams, no matter what, to vault from play-in to playoff status as the official eighth seed. At this point we’ll take the invite, but it’s still worth delving into what is the most ideal path forward.

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