Latest Houston Rockets News

    Houston Rockets Franchise Information

    Have a read on below at some quick stats and facts on the Houston Rockets to get you started: 

    Established:1967
    Stadium:Toyota Center
    Colours:Red, black, gray, anthracite & white
    Hall of Famers:Rick Barry, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Ralph Sampson, Dikembe Mutombo, Yao Ming & Tracy McGrady
    Hall of Fame Coaches:Alex Hannum, Tex Winter, Bill Fitch & Rudy Tomjanovich
    Rivals:Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers & Los Angeles Lakers
    Legends:Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy, Clyde Drexler, Ralph Sampson & Yao Ming
    Retired Numbers:11, 22, 23, 24, 34 & 45 
    Conference: Western Conference
    Division:Southwest Division
    NBA Championships2: 1994 & 1995

    Houston Rockets History

    With the NBA wanting to expand into Western America, the San Diego Rockets were formed as an expansion team prior to the 1967-68 season. San Diego’s first ever draft pick was Pat Riley, with him and Johnny Green leading the team in their inaugural season which saw a 15-67 record. This poor record saw the Rockets be awarded the first pick in the 1968 draft, with the Rockets selecting Elvin Hayes. 

    Hayes would help the Rockets improve by 22 wins and make the playoffs for the first time in just their second season, where they would be defeated by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, 4-2. 

    In an attempt to better support Hayes, the front office added Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich however the team was unable to make the following two seasons. The poor performance caused the selling of the team and the Rockets would move to Houston. 

    The move saw Tax Winter hired as coach and he would immediately clash with Hayes, with Hayes requesting a trade after a 34-48 season. Winter would be fired during the next season with poor performances by the team, which then rallied behind new coach, Johnny Egan. 

    The Rockets wouldn’t return to the playoffs until the 1974-75 where they would beat the New York Knicks 2-1 to win their first ever playoff series, before being defeated by the Boston Celtics 4-1 in the second round. 

    Houston would miss the playoffs the next season but added John Lucas and dominant big man, Moses Malone. Malone would lead the team back to the playoffs, with the Rockets winning their first division title and Tom Nissalke winning Coach of the Year. Houston were eliminated in the second round by Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers. 

    An injury to Tomjanovich during the 1977-78 saw the team unable to return to the playoffs, but the following season saw Malone win MVP, who, with the addition of Rick Barry, led the team to a 47-35 record and returning to the playoffs, but were unable to overcome the Hawks in the first round. 

    The 1979-80 season saw the Rockets make it one round further, being eliminated by the Celtics 4-0 in the second round before being moved to the Western Conference prior to the 1980-81 season.

    This move would pay dividends for Houston, where they would again make the playoffs and defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Kansas City Kings on their way to their first ever Finals appearance. They would face familiar foes in the Boston Celtics, who would again have the upper hand, winning 4-2. 

    Malone would win his second MVP in the 1981-82, but similar to the first season he won the award, the Rockets were eliminated in the first round. Despite being one of the best players in the league and leading the team for six seasons, the Rockets were unwilling to pay his new contract and saw him leave. His departure saw Houston have their worst season in franchise history, finishing with a 14-68 record. 

    The Rockets would win the first pick in the 1983 Draft and select Ralph Sampson, who would go on to win 1984 Rookie of the Year, but the team barely improved seeing them be awarded the first pick again the next season. Houston would select dominant big man Hakeem Olajuwon, who would finish second in the 1985 Rookie of the Year voting to Michael Jordan. 

    Olajuwon, in his rookie season, would combine with Sampson, who would win the 1985 All Star Game MVP, to take the Rockets back to the playoffs, losing to the Jazz in the first round. 

    The dominant duo continued the next season, helping Houston win their second division title, whilst returning to the Finals for the second time, after defeating Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets and Lakers on their way to another match up with the Boston Celtics. The Rockets would again be overpowered by the Celtics, losing 4-2. 

    Despite making the playoffs the next season, there was big disappointment surrounding the team, seen as underperforming after a second round elimination. The 1987-88 wouldn’t start as expected either, with Sampson being traded and the team being eliminated in the first round in the following four seasons, before missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years in 1992. 

    Former player Rudy Tomjanovich would be brought on as head coach, and the team responded well to the change, improving by 13 wins in the 1992-93 season, winning the division, Olajuwon winning Defensive Player of the Year and the team returning to the playoffs and winning their first round match up against the Los Angeles Clippers, before being eliminated by the Supersonics. 

    Houston would improve again the next season, finishing 58-24 and winning the division title for the second straight season. Olajuwon would make history, becoming the second player in NBA history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. 

    Olajuwon would lead the Rockets to the Finals for the third time in franchise history, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz on their way to facing the New York Knicks. 

    The Rockets would face a 2-3 deficit but would win two games in a row to win their first Championship. Olajuwon broke more history, by winning Finals MVP, becoming the first and only player to win all three awards in the same season. 

    Starting the 1994-95 season with a bit of a championship hangover, the Rockets traded for Clyde Drexler, who sparked the team to an improved second half to the season. Houston would defeat the third, second and first seeded teams in the West to advance to the Finals for a second straight season. 

    They would then sweep the Orlando Magic in the Finals to win their second consecutive Championship, with Olajuwon winning Finals MVP again. Houston became the first and only team who wasn’t a top four seed in their conference to win the Championship and first and only team to defeat four 50 win teams in the playoffs. 

    The Rockets were only able to make the second round the following season, resulting in the team trading for former MVP Charles Barkley in the 1996 off season. The Big 3 of Barkley, Drexler and Olajuwon was able to lead the team to the Western Conference Finals but were unable to overcome the Jazz. 

    Injuries saw the team only just make the playoffs the next season, losing in the first round, with Drexler retiring after the season. The Rockets traded for Scottie Pippen to replace Dexler but saw another first round elimination and saw Pippen last just one year with the team before being traded. 

    Barkley would suffer a career ending injury and the team traded up the 1999 draft to select Steve Francis. Francis would win 2000 Rookie of the Year but the team would be unable to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years. 

    Houston would fail to make the playoffs again and after 17 seasons with the team, Olajuwon requested a trade and after the team did everything they could to keep him, they eventually traded him to the Toronto Raptors. 

    The Rockets won the first pick in the 2002 draft, selecting another big man, 7’6 center, Yao Ming. Despite the big man’s dominance, and the front office building around him, including adding Tracy McGrady, the team only made the playoffs five times over ten years, and only made the second round once in that time. 

    In the 2012 offseason, aggressive General Manager Daryl Morey traded for reigning Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden. The addition of Harden saw the Rockets go back to the playoffs, but were unable to win a first round series in his first two seasons. 

    The 2014-15 season saw Houston win a division title for the first time in 20 years and make it to the Western Conference Finals, losing to eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors. This was the first of multiple intense contests with the Warriors, seeing Harden go head to head with Steph Curry. 

    The 2015-16 season saw regression from the Rockets, only qualifying for the playoffs by winning their last game of the season, coming up against the Warriors in the first round. Again Harden and the Rockets were no match, losing 4-1. 

    Mike D’Antoni was hired as head coach and Eric Gordon would go on to win Sixth Man of the Year, while Harden was handed the keys to the car and began his real dominance of, not just the Rockets, but the entire NBA. D’Antoni would win Coach of the Year in his first season and Houston would defeat the Thunder before falling to Texas rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. 

    The 2017-18 season saw the Rockets trade for multi time All Star point guard, Chris Paul, and finish on top of the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history. Harden would dominate the league and win his first MVP, leading Houston past the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz to set up a second Western Conference Finals match up with the Warriors. 

    Houston were up 3-2 and looking set to advance to the Finals, but Paul went down with a hamstring injury and saw the Warriors win the last two games. Harden and Paul led the team past the Jazz in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, but came up against the Warriors in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, and lost for the fourth time. 

    With chemistry issues between Harden and Paul, the team traded the latter to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Harden’s old team, for former MVP Russell Westbrook. Reuniting Westbrook with Harden brought big expectations for the Rockets, who struggled through the middle part of the season before it was suspended due to COVID-19. 

    When the season returned, the Rockets went 4-4 in their seeding games and finished fourth in the West, facing the Thunder in the first round. Harden and Westbrook won the first two games against their old team, before Paul led the Thunder two wins in the next two games. The teams split games five and six to set up a winner takes all game seven. 

    The Rockets played good across the board and a big defensive play by Harden to close out the game gave Houston a two point win to advance to the second round. The Rockets faced the Lakers and won the first game against the one-seed of the Western Conference, before dropping the next four and being eliminated from the playoffs.

    Mike D’Antoni’s contract finished and a mutual decision between him and the team meant he wasn’t offered a new contract and the Rockets ended up signing Stephen Silas as head coach. 

    Things didn’t go as planned for Silas, with Houston trading Westbrook to the Wizards in exchange for John Wall and then trading Harden to the Nets, receiving the injury prone Victor Oladipo and three first round picks as part of a multi-team trade.

    John Wall, Christian Wood and Victor Oladipo made a good trio of players but due to injuries to all three, they rarely saw the court together and Houston suffered because of it. They finished with the worst record in the league for the 2020-21 season and have the 2nd pick in the 2021 draft, along with two other first rounders.

    Expert 2021 / 2022 Picks & Preview on Houston Rockets

    The Houston Rockets are right in the middle of their rebuild and the expectations aren’t very high this season. After an ugly season filled with injuries and trades, the hope for this upcoming season is that the Rockets can build some momentum and develop their roster of young talent. 

    Although this may potentially mean that the team tanks for another season to let these young players learn and acquire better picks. This season will likely be an ugly one, but if the young players can show promise, and one of their players becomes a star, this season will be considered a win. 

    Front Office

    The Rockets have been trying to rebuild since D’Antoni, Harden and Westbrook left the team, and the man tasked with heading this rebuild is Stephen Silas. Silas was named the team’s head coach in October 2020 and unfortunately finished with a league worst record of 17-55. Silas was a product of an ever changing roster and we think it’s safe to write off last season. This season, the front office will be looking at Silas and seeing if last season was a fluke or if Silas was a big contributor to this poor record. 

    Silas has bounced around the league as a coaching assistant and was a big part of the development of the Steph Curry, Luka Doncic and LeBron James. The hope is for Silas to help the abundance of young players on the Rockets’ roster to become the franchise player for the Rockets to replace James Harden.

    The Rockets had an extremely busy offseason. In the draft they added perhaps the most important player to their future, Jalen Green. They also added Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher in the draft. The Rockets also added Daniel Theis and Daivd Nwaba in free agency. This offseason was draft-centric and pushes the narrative of a young rebuilding roster searching for their franchise player.

    Key Players

    The Rockets key player is going to be Jalen Green. Green is the player with the most potential to be a franchise player and after a season in the G-League where he played extremely well, Green will now have to prove himself in the NBA. Green will start as the 2 guard on the Rockets. He can score on all 3 levels and is someone who can create his own shot. The biggest offensive issue at the moment for Green is his streaky shooting. He had games where shot well in the G-League and others where he couldn’t buy a bucket from 3.

    Although he showed flashes of playmaking potential in the G-League bubble especially in the pick and roll, he does have room to grow as a passer in other sets. Green is also weak on the defensive side of the ball due to his thin frame and lack of attention and intensity. Overall, if Green can continue to polish his offensive skill set, he could become the franchise player for the Rockets as he is an elite athlete who could become the next Bradley Beal.

    Although the Rockets have several important players, especially in their starting 5, the second most important player is Kevin Porter Jr. Although Eric Gordan and Christian Wood have been good throughout their careers, they may be gone by the trade deadline, which is why we have put Kevin Porter Jr as the second most important player for this roster. Porter Jr has been among the favourites for the NBA Most Improved Player for the upcoming season and his growth will be integral for the Rockets. 

    Porter Jr. has been up and down throughout his short career but has been good with the Rockets last season. Porter Jr. had a career high 50 point game last season which showed Rockets fans the potential of this streaky young player. With John Wall gone, Porter Jr. now takes the reins as the Rockets’ starting point guard and will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself. 

    In fact, Porter Jr may end up being the Rockets’ franchise player with Jalen Green. If this guard duo can turn it up and play well in 2021 the Rockets might sneak into the play-in tournament. All of this relies on whether or not the young guys can grow to reach their full potential.

    Breakout Player

    The breakout player is the aforementioned Kevin Porter Jr. as he showed flashes toward the end of last season and we wouldn’t be surprised if he turned into a star in this up-coming season. In the 26 games Porter Jr. played last season he had 9 with 20 points or more including the 50 point explosion he had. 

    If he can continue this form and become a more consistent scorer he will likely win the Most Improved Player award this season. This will be easier in the absence of John Wall. We saw flashes of this in the Rockets’ first preseason game where Porter Jr. had a team high 25 points and 5 assists. He also shot extremely well, shooting 5-10 from 3 point range. Porter Jr. is primed for a breakout year.

    Houston Rockets Betting & Odds History

    With a disappointing playoff exit and uncertainty surrounding the Harden and Westbrook pairing, Houston’s 2020-21 NBA Championship odds opened at +2200.

    These soon plummeted as Westbrook was traded before the season started and Harden was traded just weeks in, with the Rockets finishing with the worst record in the league and being removed from futures consideration for the time being.

    Given their terrible play during the season, Houston finished with the second worst against the spread record in the league, 27-45. They were actually an even 18-18 ATS on the road but a dismal 9-27 at home.

    Despite losing Harden, one of the best scorers the league has ever seen, Houston still finished with a 35-36-1 record in total points betting. Again, their road record, 21-15, was much better than their record at home, 14-21-1.

    Houston Rockets FAQ

    Still got some burning questions about the Houston Rockets? Well, we have answered some of the most common questions people have, hopefully you will find the answer you are looking for below! 

    Where do the Houston Rockets play?

    The Houston Rockets play their home games at the Toyota Center. 

    Who owns the Houston Rockets?

    Tillman Fertitta is the owner of the Houston Rockets after purchasing the team for $2.2 billion in 2017. 

    Have the Houston Rockets won an NBA Championship?

    The Houston Rockets have won 2 NBA Championships, in 1994 and 1995. 

    Who is the Houston Rockets coach?

    Stephen Silas is the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Silas was hired in the 2020 offseason after being an assistant coach at the Dallas Mavericks.

    Do the Houston Rockets play tonight?

    Are you wondering if the Houston Rockets are playing tonight? Well, SportsTips has all the details you need about upcoming Houston Rockets games! Make sure you check this page at the top for all the details you are looking for.

    What is the Houston Rockets record?

    The Houston Rockets had a 17-55 win-loss record for the 2020-21 NBA season. 

    Did the Houston Rockets win last night?

    Fans of the Houston Rockets are all wanting to know if they won the game last night. You can find more information in relation to the team’s recent form in games on the page at the top.

    How much are the Houston Rockets worth?

    According to Forbes Magazine, the Houston Rockets are worth $2.475 billion. 

    Who do the Houston Rockets play tonight?

    Like a lot of things in the NBA, things change pretty quickly. So, if you are looking for more information about who the Houston Rockets play tonight, you have come to the right place. We have all this information for you in detail, you can find these details for upcoming games at the top of the page.

    How to watch the Houston Rockets?

    You can watch the Houston Rockets on TV channels like ESPN, ABC, TNT, NBA TV or AT&T SportsNet, or subscribe to NBA League Pass. 

    Will the Houston Rockets make the playoffs this year?

    The Houston Rockets did not make the playoffs in the 2020-21 season after finishing with the worst record in the NBA, 17-55. 

    Will the Houston Rockets get the 1st pick in the NBA Draft?

    Despite finishing with the worst record in the league, the Houston Rockets will not have the 1st pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The lottery awarded them the second pick in the draft, along with picks 23 and 24 which they acquired via trade.

    When do the Houston Rockets play?

    Houston Rockets fans are always looking for more information about when their team plays the next game. For all the information you have been craving and more, be sure to check the top of this page. Here at SportsTips, we list all the information you need like the tip off time, location of the game and the all important NBA odds.

    Where did the Houston Rockets finish the season?

    The Houston Rockets finished the 2020-21 NBA season last in the Western Conference. 

    How many games did the Houston Rockets win?

    The Houston Rockets won 17 games during the 2020-21 NBA season.