Nick Wright reacts to Houston defeating Portland: The Rockets are the favorite to win the championship

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Reflecting on the Rockets defeating the Portland Trail Blazers behind James Harden's historic, 42-point performance, Nick Wright reveals to Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe why Houston is now the clear favorite to win the 2018 NBA championship. Do you agree with Nick?

- What's the difference then, Nick, between the best team in the NBA and the favorite team in the NBA.

- Well, I understand CC's distinction, which is right now the Rockets have played the best, right now the Rockets are the healthiest, so right now they're the best team. But that doesn't mean if right now, if all things were equal, if they played each other CC would pick the Rockets to beat the Warriors. So that's his distinction that the Warriors are still, in his eyes, the favorite--

- Because of the championship pedigree.

NICK WRIGHT: Because of the championship pedigree.

- All the things that they've been through, all-- like we need to consider that compared to-- are we just going to look at what's happened in this basketball season?

- And that's full Warriors strength, full Houston strength--

- Yeah, absolutely.

- --not where they are right now?

- Yes.

- And so I understand that distinction and I think that is a fair distinction to draw. I do not think the best team has to be always the favorite. I think a great example is the East. Toronto clearly has been the best team in the East this year. I will never believe they're the favorite to win the East till they got three wins in a series and they're up with a few seconds left on the Cavs like-- so I understand that distinction. I no longer think that distinction applies to the Western Conference. I think Houston is the best team. And I think as we sit here, on the second day of spring. March 21st-- I believe the Houston Rockets are the favorite to win the NBA Championship.

I think we have a sample size of nearly a full season. We have a sample size of exactly a half season of Harden, Paul, Capela playing. 41 games they've played together. They're 39 and 2. We have seen Houston play the next eight teams in the West, so seven of those teams will make the playoffs. But teams two through nine in the West this year, they are 21 and 3. And if we are going to go to historically, the Rockets, almost assuredly this year, will win at least 65 games. They need to go 8 and 3 or better down the stretch to get to 65 wins.

Why do I point out 65 wins? 65 wins have happened 20 times in NBA history. 15 of those times that team has won the championship. So we are getting to-- we are getting to historical markers with this basketball team. We already talked about how their offense, one of the-- right now it dropped a tick. So it's no longer the greatest offensive in NBA history, it's, like, the second greatest offensive in NBA history.

But the three in the t-- the other top four all won a championship. We are talking about historical regular season greatness from a team that as-- even if I remove the historical lens-- I just look at it as a basketball fan in 2018. The one thing I cannot find with the Rockets is what they're missing-- aside from something they can't grab right now, which is experience-- championship pedigree. The one thing they're missing they're ineligible to ac--

- Right.

- --to get during the regular season.

- Well said.