A mid-season lineup change has propelled the Houston Rockets straight into the NBA title conversation. Incredibly, the Rockets have been on a charge straight up the Western Conference standings. Houston threw caution to the wind at the deadline, trading their only big men, and the results have been extraordinary.
Somehow, Mike D’Antoni’s team has been thriving ever since throwing out the idea of a traditional center. An amalgam of Robert Covington, and P.J Tucker have served as interior enforcers and the results speak for themselves. The Rockets have won 10 of 12 games without a traditional center, and more importantly have set the stage for their superstars to shine.
Houston’s commitment to a five-out style has unlocked the powers of Russell Westbrook. This may be the most significant factor in the team’s chase of an NBA championship. Scrapping the center position entirely has opened up the floor for more drives and threes. Creating lanes for Westbrook to attack, and James Harden to shoot is a recipe for success in the modern NBA.
The Houston Rockets NBA Title Odds Without a Center
Houston’s centerless lineups have unlocked the “Brodie’s” superpowers. Westbrook’s numbers since the team’s downsize have been flabbergasting. The nine-time All-Star is averaging over 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists since the switch. Those are special numbers in any era, but represent the fantastic turnaround in Westbrook’s season.
For bettors, the Rockets represent a very profitable option while betting on the NBA Title winner. Until this latest experiment, the Brodie and the Brow pairing had yet to really take off. Now, Houston’s small ball lineups could be the special secret to success in the NBA playoffs.
Sportsbooks have yet to take notice. Houston’s odds to win the NBA Championship have stagnated at +1400. With James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Rockets have one of the most powerful pairs of superstars in league history. The pair is without a doubt combustible, but in the right system, could easily lead this team to a title. If you’d like to shoot for the stars, take the Rockets to the moon, and bet on Houston to win the 2020 NBA Title.