The Houston Rockets are one of the craziest stories in the Western Conference, as James Harden has ripped off an MVP-caliber season despite missing Dwight Howard for much of the year. Howard and Harden teamed up initially to provide the NBA with one of the best tandems, but a nagging knee issue has derailed Howard’s season and forced Harden to put the Rockets on his back.
Harden did just that, however, guiding the Rockets to a 50+ win season and within striking distance of a top-four finish in the league’s toughest conference. There is still plenty of time for Howard to round back into form and the rest of Houston’s role players to get back to full health, but Patrick Beverley’s injury could be yet another obstacle Harden will have to lead his Rockets through.
Houston fans can’t complain regardless how this year ends, as Harden has stepped up to the plate all year and kept his team at an elite level. It’s anyone’s guess if the Rockets will be able to go further than they did a year ago in the playoffs, but a strong finish in April could go a long way in setting them up for even more success.
To gauge how their final stretch of regular season games may go, let’s take a look at the cheapest and most expensive tickets to Rockets home games left in April, according to SeatSmart.com.
Cheapest – 4/15/2015 vs. Utah Jazz | Avg: $121.26 | Get-in: $17
Houston gets a defensive battle on the 15th, as Rudy Gobert leads his Jazz into the Toyota Center. It’s mildly surprising how cheap Rockets tickets are for this game, considering it’s the home finale for the regular season. Utah isn’t a total slouch, either, as they’ve come on strong since the All-Star break and play borderline elite defense.
While the Jazz shouldn’t exactly be taken lightly, the Rockets aren’t going to want to disappoint fans in their final regular season home game. More importantly, the West remains tight when it comes to playoff seeding, so this will be Houston’s last chance to lock up the spot they desire. The Rockets have a comfortable 2-1 series lead over the Jazz, so they’ll be favored to lock up the season series, 3-1.
Most Expensive – 4/10/2015 vs. San Antonio Spurs | Avg: $218.34 | Get-in: $60
Rockets tickets return even more value on April 10th, when Tim Duncan and the defending champs come to town. Fans pay less than $100 more for this one, and it should carry a playoff feel. San Antonio and Houston are neck and neck in the standings, while the cliche’ “battle of Texas” might add a special twist, as well.
This game ends up being the series finale between these two teams, with the third battle coming just two days earlier on April 8th in San Antonio ($148.72 on average). Houston will obviously want to either keep the series tied (should the Spurs win the third meeting) or steal the series three games to one, as it could hold huge ramifications in playoff seeding. Considering Houston has dropped at least 98 points in both previous meetings, we can probably expect a good amount of points and a high level of intensity. If Dwight Howard (knee) is a full go, the Rockets just might be the favorite at home, as well. This is a great deal for tickets for Spurs fans who are up for a three-hour road trip to Houston.