Houston Rockets Hold 1st Seed Heading Into All-Star Break
For the first time since 2014, the best record in the NBA heading into the All-Star Break is a team not named the Golden State Warriors.
A Wednesday night victory over the Sacramento Kings gave the Rockets a .5 game lead over Golden State. This gap was almost certain to swing back in the favor of the Warriors only a couple hours later, who were set to play the Portland Trailblazers that same night.
However, in what felt like an apology game for the 2014 playoffs, Damian Lillard went on to put up 44pts against a stout (usually) Golden State defense and help the Rockets hold their lead.
Even more unexpected than the standings, is the statistical odds of winning the Championship this season. 538 is officially giving the Rockets a 34% chance at winning the title, while Golden State is second with 22% chances. In all fairness, 538's calculations can't account for human and psychological elements that can matter a lot in the playoffs, but Houston has still managed to cement themselves as a true threat to the Warrior dynasty.