Rockets' Young Core Keeping Play-In Tournament Hopes Alive


Because of the progress made by their young core, the Houston Rockets still have a chance of making it to the Play-In Tournament, despite the fact that it is an extremely remote possibility.  

The 2024 Play-In Tournament doesn't start for another 39 days, and the Houston Rockets still have a small chance to make it to the playoffs.   

A 27-35 record puts the Rockets 12th in the Western Conference, trailing the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Utah Jazz for the final two slots with 20 games left.  

When the Houston Rockets take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, they will have the opportunity to start their late-season drive towards entry into the Play-In Tournament.   

This will be the beginning of a road trip consisting of three games. However, despite the Rockets' problems on the road, two of their opponents have records that are far lower than.500.  

Fred VanVleet said, "We set our goals at the beginning of the season, and they haven't changed." To get better every day is the main goal. That answer may sound overused, but it's actually true.  

The Rockets' young core's recent improvements have given them hope of making the Play-In Tournament despite their long odds.  

Jalen Green may have had his best four games of the season during that time. He averaged 26.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 44.3 percent shooting from the floor.   

In the previous two games, Alperen Şengün led as the core player for Houston's team. Against Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, he scored 45 points, which was the most in his career.   

Even though the team lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second half, Śengün had his second career triple-double with 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 14 assists.   

Houston must rely on its young core to reach pre-season targets. In the Play-In Tournament, the Rockets may have a little advantage over their Western Conference opponents.   

There are injuries to franchise stars on both the Warriors and the Lakers. Stephen Curry left Thursday's game against the Chicago Bulls early because he hurt his ankle.   

Twenty-four hours before, LeBron James left Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings because he was still hurt in his foot. Both teams lost, the Spurs and the Warriors.  

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