1997–98 Houston Rockets season

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1997–98 Houston Rockets season
Clyde Drexler's final season
Head coach Rudy Tomjanovich
Arena Compaq Center
Results
Record 41–41 (.500)
Place Division: 4th (Midwest)
Conference: 8th (Western)
Playoff finish West First Round
(eliminated 2-3)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Fox Sports Southwest, KTXH
< 1996–97 1998–99 >

The 1997–98 NBA season was the Rockets' 31st season in the NBA, and 27th season in Houston.[1] The Rockets began to show their age and the wear and tear of long playoff runs as they played mediorce basketball all season. Hakeem Olajuwon missed most of the first half of the season due to injuries only playing in just 47 games. The Rockets finished fourth in the Midwest Division with a 41–41 record and qualified the playoffs as the #8 seed. In the first round of the playoffs, the Rockets took a 2–1 lead over the top-seeded Utah Jazz. However, they would lose the series in five games. Following the season, Clyde Drexler retired to take over the head coaching job at the University of Houston, Kevin Willis was traded to the Toronto Raptors, and Mario Elie signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs.

Offseason[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

Main article: 1997 NBA Draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 24 Rodrick Rhodes SG  United States USC
2 29 Serge Zwikker C  Netherlands North Carolina

Roster[edit]

Houston Rockets roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
PF 4 United States Barkley, Charles 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 252 lb (114 kg) Auburn
SF 50 United States Bullard, Matt 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Iowa
PG 15 United States Davis, Emanual 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Delaware State
SG 22 United States Drexler, Clyde 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Houston
SF 17 United States Elie, Mario 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) American International
PF 32 United States Harrington, Othella 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Georgetown
SF 8 United States Johnson, Eddie 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Illinois
PF 27 United States Jones, Charles 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Albany State
PG 12 United States Maloney, Matt 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 192 lb (87 kg) Pennsylvania
C 34 Nigeria Olajuwon, Hakeem 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Houston
PG 20 United States Price, Brent 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Oklahoma
SG 1 United States Rhodes, Rodrick 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Southern California
SF 41 United States Stephens, Joe 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Arkansas-Little Rock
PF 42 United States Willis, Kevin 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Michigan State
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

RosterTransactions

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
z-Utah Jazz 62 20 .756 36–5 26–15 22–2
x-San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6 31–10 25–16 18–6
x-Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17 26–15 19–22 14–10
x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21 24–17 17–24 14–10
Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42 13–28 7–34 9–15
Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43 14–27 5–36 4–20
Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51 9–32 2–39 3–21
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Utah Jazz 62 20 .756
2 y-Seattle SuperSonics 61 21 .744 1
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 61 21 .744 1
4 x-Phoenix Suns 56 26 .683 6
5 x-San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6
6 x-Portland Trail Blazers 46 36 .561 16
7 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17
8 x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21
9 Sacramento Kings 27 55 .329 35
10 Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42
11 Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43
11 Golden State Warriors 19 63 .232 43
13 Los Angeles Clippers 17 65 .207 45
14 Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51


z – clinched division title
y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot

Game log[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

West First Round[edit]

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (8) Houston Rockets Last Playoff Meeting: 1997 Western Conference Finals (Utah won 4-2)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(UTA-HOU)

Venue Box score Television
1 April 23 Utah 90 Houston 103 0-1 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 1 TBS 9:30et
2 April 25 Utah 105 Houston 90 1-1 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 2 TNT 10:30et
3 April 29 Houston 89 Utah 85 1-2 Compaq Center, Houston, Texas 3 TBS 9:30et
4 May 1 Houston 71 Utah 93 2-2 Compaq Center, Houston, Texas 4 TNT 9:30et
5 May 3 Utah 84 Houston 70 3-2 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 5 NBC 3:00et
Utah wins series 3–2

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

References[edit]

See also[edit]