The Houston Rockets might not be the best team in NBA history, but they may be one of the most unique teams we’ve ever seen. nfl custom jerseys cheap They’re winning like a superteam during an era that seemingly requires three superstars to compete.
Since the inaugural season of the Basketball Association of America—the NBA’s predecessor—in 1946-47, there have been 1,483 team seasons. Whether you use winning percentage or the simple rating system (which combines margin of victory and strength of schedule), the Rockets are the 18th best of all time.customized nfl jerseys cheap
If we define “superteam performance” to be the top 2 percent of all time, the Rockets—who have been better than 98.8 percent of teams in history—are performing like a superteam. For a comparison, the championship-winning 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers (65-17) also had only two elite starters: Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
But this highlights another aspect of the Rockets that is extraordinary. They’ve won without elite talent, and they’ve also won despite injuries.custom nfl jerseys
Those Lakers fielded just seven starting lineups all season, which included their “preferred” starting lineup 50 times. Bryant, Gasol and Derek Fisher missed only one game combined. They lost roughly 32 starts to injury, and the top eight in their rotation only missed a total of 54 games.
By comparison, the Rockets have started 16 different lineups, have played their preferred starters (Paul, Harden, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson or PJ Tucker, and Clint Capela) just 33 times, have lost 52 starts to injury and have missed 99 games from their top eight rotation players.customized nfl jerseys
That they have had such success without a third elite talent—as well as with a plethora of injuries—is what makes them historically unique.
I looked at every team with an SRS higher than the Rockets’ 8.6 or at least 64 wins to see how many minutes were played by an “elite” player, meaning anyone who had ever been named to an All-Star, All-NBA or All-Defensive team. cheap custom nfl jerseys