The Houston Rockets have won the Southwest Division Title. According to Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, that means very little to him.
D’Antoni expressed that he got no satisfaction from the title win and believes that the NBA should move on from the division/conference structure entirely.
“Divisions, they were useful maybe at one time,” D’Antoni explained. “I don’t know why we have them anymore. It should be conferences. One of these days, it’ll just be standings and the top 16 teams get in the (playoffs.) For tie-breakers, in certain instances, it’s important. But it’s not very important.”
The title is of benefit if the Rockets should find themselves in a tie with multiple teams. The division title would serve as a tie-breaker.
The way the structure of the schedule is set up is that every team plays the teams in their respective conferences 10 times. Then they face four of their conference opponents 3 times while facing every other team in the league 2 times. That creates the 82-game season.
D’Antoni went on to explain, “It’s easy for me to say that. You have to figure out how to do a schedule fair. You can’t play, the way it stands, if the West is stronger, you’re playing those teams four times, you have to balance it out and everybody has to play the same. That’s probably why we haven’t done it, yet.”
As the game continues to change, perhaps like the All-Star Game for the better, it’s something to consider. For now, the Rockets have won the division title and they will just have to deal with that success.
The Rockets do not have a practice of hanging multiple banners; instead, the year will be listed on a banner that already exists.
As for the rest of the team, when asked about how much they cared about winning their division the response was pretty unenthusiastic.
Clint Capela said, “For our team, it’s not important. Not at all.”
Chris Paul explained he wasn’t even aware they had won the division saying, “It’s cool, I guess. We expected it.”
It’s a great sign from the team to see that they remain hyper-focused on winning the title they set their eyes on all season long, The NBA Championship.