At the end of the regular season, the Houston Rockets were playing boring basketball. Having wrapped up the best record in the NBA, their interest level dropped. As well as they had played all season, few had doubts they couldn’t just turn it on once the playoffs started and they would not be tested until the Western Finals against Golden State.
However, that late-season malaise has not disappeared in the NBA playoffs. The Rockets were the NBA’s second-highest scoring team this season at 112.4 points a game and they have surpassed that total once in their last 10 games (as of 4/22) and not come close once in the postseason to that figure. With this, the Rockets are just 2-8 ATS in their latest contests and only have looked sharp once in the postseason against Minnesota.
Granted, The Timberwolves are not a true 8-seed in the traditional sense, as they were a three or four seed most of the season until Jimmy Butler was hurt and missed a large chunk of the second half of the season. With that, the T-Wolves slipped all the way to an eight-seed and almost fell out of the playoffs all together until Butler helped bail them out in the last few games.
Can Minnesota turn this into a compelling series? Game 4 will be the key in trying to even series, making it a best 2-of-3 afterward.
It is noted that the Rockets are not a great shooting team by percentage, ranked 15th in shooting percentage during the regular season. They are also not an elite three-point shooting team either at 36.2 percent during the regular season, which is just tied for 13th in the NBA. However, where Houston succeeds is they are efficient by NBA standards, averaging 1.12 points per possession, which was the best in the league this past regular season, because of the number of treys made.