Jeff Van Gundy: Houston Rockets Could Get 2 Seed Over San Antonio Spurs

By Bill Simpson

Jan 11, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy before the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets are going to battle it out for the division crown of the Southwest Division.

According to Jeff Van Gundy, depending on Tony Parker’injury, the Rockets could topple the 2013 Western Conference champions.

The question is how well the Rockets are going to play. They are playing very well. The Spurs have had a remarkable year, but if Parker is out for a prolonged period of time, I would think that the Rockets would have a great chance to catch them. They already have the tie breaker, so that’s going to help them.

Also to the Rockets benefit, the Spurs haven’t faired well against the better teams of the Western Conference. They have lost to the Phoenix SunsPortland Trail BlazersOklahoma City Thunder and Rockets already in the new year.

Jan 8, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich smiles as he is interviewed by Jeff Van Gundy during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 112-90. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Van Gundy doesn’t care.

Every season is different. I don’t read as much into it. Obviously, athletically, they are not as big, fast, strong as a lot of other teams. I think the rest in the playoffs that you get helps them; no back to backs.

That, and he knows the Spurs road record: 22-8—it’s better than their home record (20-8).

They certainly play really well on the road, maybe a little bit more focused. Maybe it’s just more exciting to play on the road. But some of those wins, like beating the Clippers in L.A. coming out of the All-Star break, that’s unbelievable.

It certainly was. And it certainly makes things interesting looking forward in the Southwest Division. San Antonio and Houston are both on a roll with 7-3 and 8-2 records in their last 10 games, respectively.

Keep an eye on this tough division. Van Gundy certainly thinks the Rockets can win the division and perhaps become the second seed in the West.

With Parker’s injury, it would be hard for me to see them climbing to the top spot, but I also don’t see them losing home court advantage in the first round. Two through four.

Time will tell to see if the Rockets can live up to Van Gundy’s expectations.