Winning an NBA title is a goal for many teams and players. To hold that trophy up and call yourselves the champions of the world could not be a better feeling.
In 1995, the Houston Rockets won their second consecutive NBA championship and became the lowest seed to win an NBA Finals.
A look at the Houston Rockets 1994-95 season
The Rockets were just coming off winning their first NBA championship in 1994 against the New York Knicks. Houston got off to a hot start during the 1994-95 season, winning their first nine games. Hakeem Olajuwon was coming off a fantastic season the previous year, when he won the NBA MVP and Finals MVP award. The Rockets had a nice group of role players on their team. Players like Robert Horry, Sam Cassell, Vernon Maxwell, and Kenny Smith all made major contributions to the team.
The Rockets made a big move during the regular season as they had plans to make it back to the finals. Houston traded Otis Thorpe to the Portland Trail Blazers for NBA star Clyde Drexler. Drexler and Olajuwon played in college together at the University of Houston and had success then. With Drexler joining the Rockets, the team had another top scorer on the team.
After the Rockets made that trade, they struggled toward the end of the season. The Rockets went 17-18 to finish the season and finished third in the Midwest Division with a 47-35 record.
The Rockets had an impressive performance during the 1995 playoffs
Houston was the No. 6 seed going into the playoffs. Even though they struggled toward the second half of the regular season, they found a way to stay in the playoff picture. In the first round of the playoffs, the Rockets took on the No. 3 seeded Utah Jazz. Both teams met in the 1994 Western Conference Finals, and the Rockets won the series 4-1. The Rockets would defeat the Jazz again, winning the series 3-2, completing the upset in the first round.
Houston started to play well at the right time. In the Western Conference Finals, they took on the No. 2 seeded Phoenix Suns. Houston fought hard as the series went to seven games with Houston winning the final three games to close out the series. The Rockets did not care that they were the No. 6 seed; they were the defending champions, and they were determined to make it back to the finals.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Rockets took on the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs. The Rockets jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the series, and then the Spurs won the next two games to tie the series up. Houston closed the deal and won the final two games to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals for a second consecutive season.
Houston Rockets going back-to-back
The Rockets took on the Orlando Magic in the 1995 NBA Finals. The Magic were the top team out of the Eastern Conference. Both teams featured two of the best big men in the game in Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal. The Magic had a fairly young team going into the finals, and the Rockets used their experience and veteran leadership to take control of the series.
Olajuwon dominated in the finals averaging 32.8 points as the Rockets swept the Magic to win their second consecutive title, and they became the lowest seed to win an NBA championship. The Rockets proved to the world that it doesn’t matter what seed you are going into the playoffs, if you’re playing well at the right time, you can go on to have success.