[Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets

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[Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#1 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 3:00 pm

Hello.

Link to the project thread.

Pick the top 5 individual single seasons in the Rockets franchise history.

As Houston Rockets from 1971-72 to today
As San Diego Rockets from 1967-68 to 1970-71


Things to follow;
- This project is franchise bound, not city bound. Quick example; Philadelphia Warriors from 1949-50 to 1961-62 is part of the Golden State Warriors franchise history and 1952 Arizin is eligible for the GS Warriors history.
- We'll follow continuity of the franchise. I.e. Seattle SuperSonics and Oklahoma City Thunder are the same franchise. We'll use BBRef as reference for this.
https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/OKC/
- ABA seasons are included.
- 2020-21 season is yet to be completed, so, it's not eligible for this project.
- One season per player, no duplicates within the franchise history. Quick example; Shaquille O'Neal can be voted for only once for the LA Lakers franchise history, and he can be voted for the Orlando Magic franchise history. They are separate occasions.


- Reg. season and postseason play, both are included in evaluations.
- Votes will be counted per player, not per version of player.
- An easy going point system of 10/7/5/3/1, the same as Retro PoY project, will be used. Number of higher placement votes will be the tiebreaker (if two players are tied at 27 points for the 1st place, the player with more 1st place votes will get it).
- Explanation is needed, even in short forms.
- We'll be going alphabetically with franchise nicknames. Linked to the voting threads as well.


Results on Google Sheet

- The time frame for each franchise is 2 days (10:00 EST).

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The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#2 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 3:25 pm

Finally a franchise I already have a list for it. :lol:

1. 1994 Hakeem Olajuwon
It's obvious, isn't it? Easily one of the best seasons ever, not just #1 for the Rockets.

2. 1982 Moses Malone
31/15/2 season might not look too great compared to Harden's best. But this was a season that Moses willed his team to the postseason. The Rockets were sitting at below .500 mark at the half mark of the season with 19-22. Then Moses had 2 strong performances going into February and started a winning streak. He was 38.1/17.3 in February and 35.0/14.4 in March. The Rockets went 20-10 in those months. Certainly a major jump from below .500 with 19-22. There was a fellow named ShaqAttack3234, thanks to him, I learnt about existence of Moses' 35+/14+ b2b months before BBRef complete their logs for the season. That was when I was building my archive. I got my hands on 12 of those 30 games, and I can safely say that I've never seen a player working that hard and much. You can think any name for such aspect, and I can guarantee you that Moses worked even harder. And it wasn't just effort, he also had the quality and impact.
The biggest issue for his play in 1982 is his defense, but he was still a better defensive presence than Harden.

(Surprisingly, even ElGee's CORP has 1982 Moses over 2019/2020 Harden due to offensive portability argument. Though I've always been higher than ElGee on Moses' offensive impact as Moses had one of the biggest repertoires for a big man with solid efficiency and putting his matchups into foul trouble)

3. 2020 James Harden
From 2017 to 2020, 2020 is the only postseason his efficiency did not take a nosedive. Fairly obvious pick at this point.

4. 1969 Elvin Hayes
The Rockets were founded just one season before 1968-69. An expansion team with nobody and no draft position to build on. They were 15-67 with -8 SRS in 1968. Then they get rookie Elvin Hayes. Directly 20W improvement, if we look at SRS/NRtg the improvement is even bigger. They go from absolute worst to mid table team. Hayes is 1st in ppg, 6th in rpg and 3rd mpg. He already starts to show his insane motor. Then a strong postseason series against a better team in Atlanta Hawks, dominated Zelmo Beaty.

5. 2005 Tracy McGrady
Probably the most complete season left on the board for the Rockets. Had the production (5.2 obpm in reg. season and 8.4 obpm in postseason), he had the quality and impact. 2005 Rockets roster structure was quite like 2001 Sixers and 2011 Bulls, yet McGrady still managed to get that slanted offense to an average level. He was in top 1% O-RAPM and in top 4% overall RAPM. He was the reason why the Rockets were a top 5 SRS team. He's usually a slight negative impact on defense but what he did against Nowitzki in the 1st round was quite exceptional. He owned Nowitzki.

HM; 2003 Steve Francis, 2018 Chris Paul (he's definitely ahead of McGrady and Francis in terms of quality but missed way too many games)
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#3 » by Colbinii » Wed Jun 9, 2021 3:48 pm

1. 1994 Hakeem Olajuwon

Not super high on his offensive portability but given he needs spacing to be good offensively, he would do well in the current NBA.

2. 2019 James Harden

Clear-cut #2 for me here. One of the best scorers in NBA History and a tremendous heliocentric offensive hub. Has shown a tremendous ability to co-exist with other ball-dominant players (CP3, Kyrie, Westbrick).

3. 1982 Moses Malone
4. 2018 Chris Paul

This one is close and even though Moses was healthier than Paul, I value Paul's shot creation, playmaking and defense more than what Moses provided as a scorer and offensive rebounder. Moses is a player I am not high on and don't value his skill-set on a championship level team unless on a super team (1983 76ers).

5. 2001 Steve Francis

This team had no business being a top-5 offense in the league, but alas somehow Steve Franchise put them in that position.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#4 » by 70sFan » Wed Jun 9, 2021 3:56 pm

I have to think about Moses vs Harden, but seeing Paul over Moses is just... strange. I'm aware that Moses doesn't have good reputation here, but his 1982 season is nothing short of incredible, just look how Rockets became horrible the next season without him. He also improved on defensive end from 1981 to 1982.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#5 » by Dr Positivity » Wed Jun 9, 2021 4:34 pm

1. 1994 Hakeem - 93 has an argument but hard to go against 94 playoff run

2. 1981 Moses - Dragged his team to the finals

3. 2019 Harden - All time wtf scoring season and acceptable in playoffs.

4. 2018 Paul - Misses some games but so does this competition for the most part, although it costs him an argument at the Paul>Harden. Stats not far off his prime which is impressive considering who he's playing with.

5. 2009 Yao - Relatively healthy regular season although 2nd round injury. Good RAPM player (10th) and Rockets succeed without Tmac. I thought for his era he was a good defensive player although that wouldn't translate to now.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#6 » by Owly » Wed Jun 9, 2021 4:58 pm

I loathe his offensive game and reviews on intangibles are mostly negative and often strongly so (though some dissenting opinions) ...

but any consideration of Elvin Hayes. Don't know where I'd land but the bottom end of some boards look uncertain and Hayes has two things going for him

Minutes: typically north of 44mpg for 82 games in San Diego/Houston in first time on Rockets.
Defense: Based on the leap on his arrival and team performances in general, Hayes might have been a defensive monster.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#7 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:26 pm

1. Hakeem Olajuwon, 1993/94 - One of the best peak seasons ever and an easy pick for #1 here. His 2-way impact can't really be matched.

2. James Harden, 2019/20 - He has a lot of amazing regular seasons so I went with what I consider his best post-season run.

3. Moses Malone, 1981/82 - Definitely the most difficult to place. I considered him for #2 but his 3 game post-season sample size hurts him. I could go for 81 instead but he was clearly better in 82. I do think Harden and Malone had comparable regular seasons but even there I lean towards Harden being the more impactful player.

4. Chris Paul, 2017/18 - I briefly considered CP3 for the third spot but I think Malone had a clearly better regular season and I don't think Paul stepped up enough in the play-offs to overcome that difference. Paul being the second best player on his team, while Moses was the clear engine of his, is what made this decision a bit easier in the end.

5. Tracy McGrady, 2004/05 - After I lowered my opinion on CP3's 17/18 season somewhat I also considered dropping him below T-Mac. While Paul didn't have his best post-season run, T-Mac was great in the play-offs but it was only one series. I do prefer Paul's regular season and I still think he played well enough in the play-offs overall, with the first round being arguably his worst series that year. Even then T-Mac did step up his game in the play-offs and wasn't far off from Paul in the regular season either. T-Mac was also the best player on his team, while Paul wasn't. I don't think it is as big of a difference as it was with Moses though. T-Mac was the 1A to Yao Ming's 1B. It is a close one for me but I prefer Chris Paul's season more overall.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#8 » by No-more-rings » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:48 pm

Cp3 missed 24 regular season games and 2 critical playoff games, i don't see how he's on this list at all.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#9 » by falcolombardi » Wed Jun 9, 2021 6:01 pm

No-more-rings wrote:Cp3 missed 24 regular season games and 2 critical playoff games, i don't see how he's on this list at all.


in spite of that he was 1 B on a incredible season and when played was clearly better than anyone not names hakeem, moses, harden or McGady

has he been healthier maybe rockets win a ring over curry/durant warriors and how position would be even higher, but even with those injuries he had a huge season
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#10 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 6:33 pm

Owly wrote:I loathe his offensive game and reviews on intangibles are mostly negative and often strongly so (though some dissenting opinions) ...

but any consideration of Elvin Hayes. Don't know where I'd land but the bottom end of some boards look uncertain and Hayes has two things going for him

Minutes: typically north of 44mpg for 82 games in San Diego/Houston in first time on Rockets.
Defense: Based on the leap on his arrival and team performances in general, Hayes might have been a defensive monster.

Wow. Great mention. I totally overlooked the San Diego Rockets history. I'll probably move Francis to HM to and have Hayes at #5, or even #4 over McGrady.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#11 » by SHAQ32 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 7:17 pm

Where's the Michael Jordan of the Western Conference, aka '92 Drexler
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#12 » by Colbinii » Wed Jun 9, 2021 7:48 pm

SHAQ32 wrote:Where's the Michael Jordan of the Western Conference, aka '92 Drexler



He is in Portland.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#13 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 8:21 pm

Colbinii wrote:3. 2018 Chris Paul
4. 1982 Moses Malone

This one is close and even though Moses was healthier than Paul, I value Paul's shot creation, playmaking and defense more than what Moses provided as a scorer and offensive rebounder. Moses is a player I am not high on and don't value his skill-set on a championship level team unless on a super team (1983 76ers).

Even from CORP perspective, I very much doubt that 2018 Paul deserves a spot over 1982 Malone. But even if Paul > Malone, Paul still missed 24 regular season games and 2 postseason games.

I also do not get the closing statement as Paul was on the contention for a title when he was playing next to James Harden (who was better than himself at that point) and that was a super team too.
Malone's skill-set was the reason why the Rockets went to an NBA Finals series. That was not a super team. And they still put up a somewhat decent fight against a better team in the Finals. If those are the criteria, Malone on a not so great cast got further than Paul on a not so great cast.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#14 » by Colbinii » Wed Jun 9, 2021 8:32 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
Colbinii wrote:3. 2018 Chris Paul
4. 1982 Moses Malone

This one is close and even though Moses was healthier than Paul, I value Paul's shot creation, playmaking and defense more than what Moses provided as a scorer and offensive rebounder. Moses is a player I am not high on and don't value his skill-set on a championship level team unless on a super team (1983 76ers).

Even from CORP perspective, I very much doubt that 2018 Paul deserves a spot over 1982 Malone. But even if Paul > Malone, Paul still missed 24 regular season games and 2 postseason games.

I also do not get the closing statement as Paul was on the contention for a title when he was playing next to James Harden (who was better than himself at that point) and that was a super team too.
Malone's skill-set was the reason why the Rockets went to an NBA Finals series. That was not a super team. And they still put up a somewhat decent fight against a better team in the Finals. If those are the criteria, Malone on a not so great cast got further than Paul on a not so great cast.


First bolded

I'm just not impressed by the 1981 playoff run. The team faced mediocre teams on the way to losing the Finals by an MOV of 10.

I don't really care who went further. I'm sure the 2018 Rockets would have loved to face the Lakers and then Spurs/Kings in the Semi's/Conference Finals.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#15 » by Odinn21 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 8:45 pm

Colbinii wrote:I'm just not impressed by the 1981 playoff run. The team faced mediocre teams on the way to losing the Finals by an MOV of 10.

I don't really care who went further. I'm sure the 2018 Rockets would have loved to face the Lakers and then Spurs/Kings in the Semi's/Conference Finals.

I used the exact same approach you were using with your closing statement. Just looked at performances on non-super teams.
You put 2018 Paul who was playing on a super team himself and also not the best of that super team and also missed a very good chunk of the season over 1982 Malone with Malone's situation in 1983 being the reason as it was on a super team...
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#16 » by Dr Positivity » Wed Jun 9, 2021 8:46 pm

Colbinii wrote:I'm just not impressed by the 1981 playoff run. The team faced mediocre teams on the way to losing the Finals by an MOV of 10.


It's hard to brush over beating a dynasty team in Round 1. Yes it was a 3 game series but winning twice in LA is pretty good. The Spurs are a credible team and the Kings while mediocre had taken out the 1st seed the round before.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#17 » by SHAQ32 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 8:59 pm

Colbinii wrote:
SHAQ32 wrote:Where's the Michael Jordan of the Western Conference, aka '92 Drexler



He is in Portland.


Hey, cool sig, and cute post. But you're actually wrong, he's in Houston.

But my post was directed at the McGrady and Yao nods. I don't see their arguments over Drexler, as Clyde had a great playoff run heading into the finals vs MJ, and finished 2nd in MVP voting.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#18 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 9:00 pm

Dr Positivity wrote:
Colbinii wrote:I'm just not impressed by the 1981 playoff run. The team faced mediocre teams on the way to losing the Finals by an MOV of 10.


It's hard to brush over beating a dynasty team in Round 1. Yes it was a 3 game series but winning twice in LA is pretty good. The Spurs are a credible team and the Kings while mediocre had taken out the 1st seed the round before.


Plus the fact that Moses went up against a goat level player at his position who despite being 34 was the defending mvp.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#19 » by Colbinii » Wed Jun 9, 2021 9:01 pm

Dr Positivity wrote:
Colbinii wrote:I'm just not impressed by the 1981 playoff run. The team faced mediocre teams on the way to losing the Finals by an MOV of 10.


It's hard to brush over beating a dynasty team in Round 1. Yes it was a 3 game series but winning twice in LA is pretty good. The Spurs are a credible team and the Kings while mediocre had taken out the 1st seed the round before.


The Rockets won because Magic was terrible after injury. This wasn't Moses and the Rockets coming into LA and beating this team at their prime.

The Spurs and Kings--look for any justification you can to prop up Moses.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Rockets 

Post#20 » by 70sFan » Wed Jun 9, 2021 9:01 pm

SHAQ32 wrote:
Colbinii wrote:
SHAQ32 wrote:Where's the Michael Jordan of the Western Conference, aka '92 Drexler



He is in Portland.


Hey, cool sig, and cute post. But you're actually wrong, he's in Houston.

But my post was directed at the McGrady and Yao nods. I don't see their arguments over Drexler, as Clyde had a great playoff run heading into the finals vs MJ, and finished 2nd in MVP voting.

Drexler played in Portland in 1992, what are you talking about??

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