The Houston Rockets were just one win away from reaching the NBA Finals and ending the Golden State Warriors' dominance last season.
After game five of their Western Conference Finals series, they led 3-2 and were on the cusp of pulling off their number one target for the campaign and overcoming the defending champions.
But an injury to Chris Paul turned the series on its head and gave the Dubs the advantage.
CP3 was one of the main reasons why they'd put the Warriors on the brink of elimination as he produced some terrific displays.
Unfortunately, the Rockets fell short in Game 7 as the star-studded quality of Golden State took control.
It was a tough loss for Houston to take but P.J. Tucker believes there's one thing they can take away from that experience.
“Dealing with adversity, losing CP was big. It was good character building, I think the biggest thing is building the team chemistry back up again,” he said, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic.
There are no moral victories in the league but that defeat will certainly motivate the Rockets next year.
They showed they have what it takes to compete with their rivals from Oakland and will be determined to go one better.
Earlier this summer, James Harden admitted that he thinks about that loss every day.
“It’s on my mind every day. It’s Game 6, Game 7, that’s what drives me every day,” Harden told Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports.
But it's likely to be a harder task for Houston next year after they lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency and the Warriors added All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins.
They do hope, however, that the addition of Carmelo Anthony will give them a significant boost in their pursuit of a championship.
In Mike D'Antoni's offensive system, Melo should have a lot of joy and can add to the three-point shooting and scoring already on the team.
But it's unclear how much he can help them defensively in the way that both Ariza and Mbah a Moute did last year.
Their improved defence was one of the main reasons for their success and it'll be interesting to see if they can continue being efficient on that end of the floor.
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