HOUSTON – The faces of the Rockets franchise preferred to wait until the Golden State Warriors beat their ticket from the first round to discuss the looming rematch with the dynasty that eliminated Houston last season.
James Harden did not want to answer a question about the Warriors in the wake of the Rockets, who scored a 100-93 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday to eliminate Utah jazz, and said he would wait and see what happened in the Series of Golden State with the LA Clippers first happened.
That was Chris Paul's plan until Clint Capela got the truth out of it.
"That's what I want," said Capela, the emerging star center that hit the headlines last season when he told ESPN that the missiles were better than the warriors if they performed well. "I want to face them."
The Clippers prevented the warriors from fulfilling Capela's request ̵
Paul, sitting on the podium in front of Capela after Harden held a solo press conference a few minutes earlier, answered with a sigh. Paul, the savvy veteran point guard, knew instantly that Capela's self-confident commentary would become viral.
"Look at you," Paul said, looking at a reporter. "You can not wait to tweet this."
But Capela, who fought back from illness-related poor performance in Houston's Game 4 defeat with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in the final victory, continued. He saw no reason to hide the fact that the Rockets are hoping for another leap in the Warriors since Golden State retired in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals last spring.
"We worked on it all year long," Capela said. "I think if you want to be the champion, you have to beat the champion, so you have to do it sometime, right?"
That was a point that Paul, who has conceded, admitted The last two games of the last season of the West Finals last season because of a hamstring strain missed, an injury that many are convinced in the Rockets organization, they cost one NBA championship.
"Yes, make sure you say so, too," Paul said, meaning the full context of Capela's desire to see the warriors in the second round.
"CC said it best – real conversations to get to where you want to go – you have to be the incumbent champions who have kept the West going for the past five years."
The Rockets, known for their Harden-led elite injury in the past, came down to earth in the second round of defensive jazz.
After the Rockets opened the series with two home routers, the Rockets spit out aggressively in the last few games Hen Harden scored an average of 26.0 points (more than 10 points less than his average in the league). But the Rockets played spiteful defenses throughout the series and kept jazz under 100 points three times in the series, although a bit of a bad shot from Utah had helped Houston's cause.
It was fitting that a few defensive stops were the key pieces in the series, Rockets sealing the Game 5 win and complete the series. With Houston still one second and 54.8 seconds before the end, Eric Gordon stole Donovan Mitchell, the jazz star Gordon smothered all series, especially during Mitchell's 12-point shootout with 4 of 22 shots and five turnovers on Monday , After PJ Tucker sunk a pair of free throws, Harden got the ball out of Rudy Gobert's hand as the big jazz man jumped forward, essentially ending the Utah season.
"We did not shoot as fast as [many] We wanted to be offensive, but in the last few games we hung our hat," said Harden, who scored 26 points on 10 despite a 1-of-11 start of 26 ended and three steals and four contributed blocks. "That's what's going to get us to our destination, Shotmaking is special, it's a bonus, and if we take care of how we guard and hit our shots, it will be very difficult."
Of course It was really hard to beat the Warriors in the playoffs of the last five seasons when their only series loss came in the NBA 2016 final. It is a challenge that the rockets will gladly accept.
It does not matter to Houston that a date with the Warriors would be a series before last season. As a result, the Rockets launched on the final day of the Western Conference on the fourth day of the Western Conference. The regular season after digging for months out of the hole they had created with a start of 11-14. The sooner the better, some Rockets figure.
"I do not mind playing them so early," Gordon said. "Everyone will be fresh, I'm glad no one's hurt, we'll all have ready, so I'm glad we're where we are."
Rockets coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni tried to delay the discussion a rematch with the warriors, who said it was premature. He could not resist, just to weigh a bit.
"You know, we've said all year round that we're going to bring it back," D & # 39; Antoni said with a laugh, referring to Houston's slogan this season. "Well, OK, I think we'll run it back."