Could the Houston Rockets be the Team to Beat in the Western Conference Now?

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bill-swift - March 17, 2012

The trade deadline had all the appearance of something that was going to go relatively quiet early in the day, but as the 3 PM ET deadline approached teams started to pull the trigger. Some made good moves; some not so good. When the dust settled, one team made a couple key additions that could very well vault it from the edges of playoff contention right up to serious contender.

I'm talking about the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets helped the Portland Trailblazers clean house by taking Marcus Camby off their hands in exchange for guard Jonny Flynn, center Hasheem Thabeet, and a second round pick. So in exchange for two guys that rarely play the team gets a defensive presence down low that the team has not had since Yao Ming injured his foot in the '09 playoffs.

Houston also obtained veteran guard Derek Fisher and a first round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Jordan Hill. If you said, "Who?" don't worry; you're not alone. While the team will likely not look to start Fisher, he is a solid, dependable veteran presence in the locker room that has seen more championship games and made more clutch shots than anyone currently on Houston's roster.

After beating the Charlotte Bobcats 107-87 Wednesday night the Rockets are 24-20. Should the playoffs start today they would have the No 7 seed and would face off against the San Antonio Spurs; on the season they are 2-2 against the Spurs.

With these additions, and the way a lot of Houston's younger players are starting to step and play when the starters are injured, there is no reason to think that the Rockets couldn't make a big push over the last 19 games of the season. Since the difference between the No 7 seed and the No 4 is only a game and a half it wouldn't take much for Houston's post season position to change.

Look out NBA; the Houston Rockets are coming.

Article by Travis Pulver

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