Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Projected Seed: West No. 7
Potential First-Round Victim: Oklahoma City Thunder
An unrelenting attack comprised of countless weapons makes the Houston Rockets an unpredictable force. A meeting with James Harden's former club, the Oklahoma City Thunder, would have a rivalry-type feel.
Hoopsworld.com senior NBA editor Bill Ingram believes that Houston poses a legitimate threat to knock off OKC:
Normally the seventh seed is expected to roll over for the second seed, but if the Thunder and Rockets do, indeed, match up in the first round you can expect a dogfight with plenty of extra drama thrown in... the Rockets have plenty of weapons, and beyond Harden it’s never easy to know where Houston’s offense is going to come from.
The two squads are currently tied for the league lead in points per game at 106, so each team's goal should be to hold the opponent to around 100 (or 90, in the case of a playoff downtempo).
In a seven-game series, it may be easier for Houston to game-plan how to hold OKC to 90. The Thunder's task is trickier: Harden has so many supplementary weapons, it's difficult to pinpoint whom to contain.
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