What Houston is threatening to do in the National Basketball Association playoffs must both excite and embarrass the league's brass. The Rockets, 40-42 during the regular season, could become the first losing team to win the NBA championship. Most everybody loves a good Cinderella story, but Houston's reminds us that the NBA's regular campaign doesn't always mean that much.
Right now, of course, there's no question that the Rockets have peaked. In fact, If All-Star ballots were passed out tomorrow, 6 ft. 10 in. center Moses Malone would probably be a landslide first-team selection. He and 5-9 guard Calvin Murphy have been tremendous in playoff wins over defending NBA champion Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Kansas City.
Having pocketed its first Western Conference crown, Houston now plays the winner of the Eastern Conference championship, which resumes tonight in Philadelphia wit h the 76es holding a 3-2 edge over Boston in their best-of-seven series.