For Houston-native Gerald Green, being apart of a 60-win Rockets team means something.
“I grew up watching the (93-94) team, I think they had 58 wins, so for me to go out there and beat that, this is kind of a really huge accomplishment for me I would say.”
The night after the Rockets eclipsed that team’s regular season win total, Green led the Rockets in scoring with 25 points in their 118-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks Sunday night at Toyota Center for win number 60, and on a team with championship aspirations, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni says he hopes his players understand how much they’ve accomplished during the regular season.
“It’s hard and it’s a pretty special season to get to 60 (wins). To do it in this fashion, they way they did, as quick as they did it, it’s pretty good, obviously.”
The Rockets are the 18th team in NBA history to win their 60th game by game 74 of the season. Eleven of the previous 17 championships. D’Antoni, himself, hit the 60-win mark twice as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, but hasn’t done so since the 2006-07 season. The only Rockets player to get it done before this season is Trevor Ariza, who did it nine years ago with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think it’s a good accomplishment,” Ariza said. “We still have more games to go, continue to rack up wins, continue to set the bar high for ourselves and keep going.”
Ariza’s 65-win Lakers team won the NBA championship in 2009, a feat this Rockets team is looking to duplicate, so nobody in the Rockets locker room was popping champagne bottles Sunday night, but they still allowed themselves to acknowledge what they’ve accomplished thus far.
“It’s pretty cool to get 60 win,” James Harden said. “You don’t want to be on the other side and have 60 losses, but it’s a good feeling that mean you’re doing something right. The chemistry is there, and guys are sharing the ball, being unselfish, and playing for each other, so obviously, it’s a really cool thing getting 60 wins, but we just got to continue to build that momentum, and keep guys healthy for these last, I think, eight games, and then get ready for the postseason.”
D’Antoni won 62 and 61 games while with Phoenix, so with the Rockets having hit 60 wins with eight games to play this season, he not only hopes to blow that number out of the water, he expects to do so before the playoffs come around.
“We better get a lot (more wins) because we’ve still got to play.”