This weekend, the Houston Rockets became the first squad to beat the Golden State Warriors twice in the 2017-18 season. And according to Rockets breakout center Clint Capela, their 2-1 record against Golden State is proof of Houston’s superiority to Stephen Curry and Co.
“We’re confident because we know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to beat them,” Capela said after Saturday’s 116-108 victory over the Warriors. “We’ve got to keep playing. We know that they’re going to come back if we have the lead, and we’ve just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do on defense—all the switches, the weak side—and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them.
“We are better than them.”
Predictably, the Warriors, owners of a 3.5-game advantage over the Rockets for the West’s No. 1 seed and the league’s best record, downplayed the importance of the midseason matchup with Houston.
“It’s game 40-what? Seven, eight?” said Draymond Green. “Who we play on Tuesday? We just got to get ready for [New York]. Home court will take care of itself down the road.”
In the Warriors’ lone win over the Rockets this season, back on January 4, both teams were shorthanded: Kevin Durant and James Harden sat with injuries. The Rockets were without Trevor Ariza on Saturday, thanks to his and his teammates’ not-so-covert op carried out against the Los Angeles Clippers last week.
Speaking of the Rockets’ dealing with player absences, the team is an impressive 17-0 when Capela, Harden, and Chris Paul are all good to go, including both wins over the Warriors.
“We’re definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy,” Capela added. “We’ve definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back. The thing is, of course, we’re excited because it’s the Warriors, but Monday is an important game, too. If we lose and the [Warriors] win their game, what was the point? The next game, every single time, is going to be the key to go get the No. 1, first seed.”
From their general manager to their players …
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) January 21, 2018
… the Rockets appear obsessed with overtaking Golden State. But we’ll have to wait for the postseason to see if every little move Morey made was magic.