The Houston Rockets enjoyed an excellent era of basketball with James Harden leading the franchise as their superstar from 2012 to 2021. Starting in 2017, they acquired legendary point guard Chris Paul to join Harden, building a team of elite role players around the duo. The Rockets were excellent in that 17-18 season, making it to the Western Conference Finals where they fell just short against the Golden State Warriors.
When fans look back at that season, specifically the playoff push, a key moment that everyone points to is the hamstring injury Chris Paul suffered in the Game 5 win against the Warriors. Despite holding a 3-2 advantage in the series, the Rockets famously lost their next two games and the Warriors went on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals.
One of the key players on that brilliant Rockets team, Gerald Green, recently opened up to NBA Buzz about why the Rockets didn't quite manage to win a championship with the team they had. He too, highlighted the CP3 injury, suggesting that the Rockets would have won a championship in 2018 if not for that unfortunate issue. '
"If Chris Paul doesn't get hurt, we win a ring. Easy. We would've beat them (LeBron and Cleveland). We were the better team. We was ready for them. We would've beat Cleveland pretty easy... We were special."
Considering that the Warriors barely beat the Rockets thanks to Chris Paul's injury and they swept the Cavaliers 4-0 in the finals, this isn't an outlandish take from Green. The Warriors' roster was stacked, with a healthy Kevin Durant playing for them alongside the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green. To take that team to 7 games and nearly beat them along the way is special. Ultimately, it doesn't matter though. Basketball is a ruthless sport and fans will always only remember who won.