NBA: Ranking the 10 most important games from the last 10 years

NBA former Heat forward LeBron James (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
NBA former Heat forward LeBron James (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) /
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8. 2018 Western Conference Finals – Game 7: Warriors vs. Rockets

Seven-for-44 (15.9%) from 3. In a Game 7. At home. Against the best team in the NBA. And the team that shot 15 percent still almost won the series.

The Houston Rockets have been a walking “what if?” for basically their entire existence, but Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals is the most recent and perhaps toughest “what if?” they’ve ever gone through.

This could have been James Harden’s legacy game. The one that transforms him from a playoff question mark to the best player on a team that just defeated one of the best teams in NBA history. All while doing so with his co-star, Chris Paul, on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

The 2018 Rockets shot 36 percent from 3 on the season. For argument’s sake let’s just say they shoot 27 percent from 3 in Game 7 which would make them 12-44. That’s still awful, but it would have been enough to win the game and go to the NBA Finals to play against a Cavaliers team who needed seven games to beat the Pacers and Kyrie Irving-less Celtics…not exactly a juggernaut.

Even if Chris Paul never comes back the Rockets still would have had a chance to beat the Cavs. And realistically he probably would have come back for Game 1 or 2, making them heavy favorites to win the championship.

If you ask the Rockets, they would say the “referees likely changed the eventual NBA champion” after completing an audit of Game 7 (which I’m sure was very unbiased).

Or, you know, you could not shoot 7-44 from 3?