The Houston Rockets are the NBA team that deserves to win an NBA title the most.
And why is that?
Because a certain formula says so.
And no, the equation wasn't created by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, as it instead comes from Neil Greenberg of The Washington Post:
All teams get zero points at the start of the 2004-05 season, the first year the league expanded to 30 teams with new divisional alignments separating the league into six divisions of five teams each. A team gets one point if it fails to win the NBA title in that year, another point if it made the playoffs, two more points if it finishes with 50 or more wins and three more points if it wins 60 or more.
The points accrue each year the team fails to win a championship. If a team wins the title, its point total resets to zero. Win two titles in any five-year span, and the point total is reduced to minus-10.
As you would expect, this system will send the Golden State Warriors to the bottom of the list. Their run of three titles in five years is not what we are looking for.
We are looking for teams that field a competitive, playoff-bound club every year but fall short.
When you crunch the numbers, the Rockets lead the way with 71 points.
Houston has averaged 48 wins over the past 16 seasons, topping the 50-win mark nine times, and posted a 65-win campaign in 2017-18. The Rockets have made the playoffs 11 times in that span.
Over the Warriors' run to five straight NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019, Golden State ended Houston's season four times -- including twice in the Western Conference finals (2015 and 2018).
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And in 2019, the Warriors went into Houston and won Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals despite playing without Kevin Durant. It was such a special performance that Steve Kerr said it is his favorite game as coach of the Warriors.
The Rockets just haven't been able to get over the hump. And that sound you hear is thousands of Warriors fans laughing out loud at the notion that Houston "deserves" to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy.