After defeating the Warriors on Saturday night, Clint Capela said that the Rockets have enough weapons to be better than the defending the champions.
The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 116-108 on Saturday night in the final matchup of the year between the two heavyweights. The Rockets won the season series 2-1 after taking the first and last matchups over Golden State.
The Rockets have had a lot of injuries and up and down moments this year, but they’re starting to put the pieces back together. Now, with everyone healthy and coming off of a fresh win against the best team in the league, their confidence is at an all-time high.
Clint Capela, who is averaging career highs nearly across the board, added some fuel to the Rockets and Warriors rivalry. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Clint Capela said that Houston has the weapons to defeat Golden State.
“We’re confident because we know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to beat them. 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.”
The Golden State Warriors are one of the most stacked teams of this generation. With that being said, the Rockets are probably the most equipped team to challenge them in the playoffs.
Defense will be the answer
The Houston Rockets have the second ranked offense in the NBA, and they can score with any team in the league. Scoring enough points to win against the Warriors or any opponent isn’t a problem for Houston. Defense is Houston’s biggest key to an NBA Finals appearance.
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In the first half of Saturday night’s matchup, the Rockets scored 65 points on 46.8 percent shooting and they made 8 3-pointers. Offensively, they played extremely well against the league’s fifth ranked defense, but they only led by seven points at halftime.
Even in the midst of a lackluster performance, the Warriors always seem to stay within striking distance of their opponents. The Rockets have a habit of going on monster runs followed by three to four minutes of offensive droughts. Without a strong defense, Houston will have trouble holding leads on a team that is as explosive as Golden State.
This season, the Rockets are giving up 106.9 points per game. In games where they hold their opponents to 105 points or less, they’re 20-3. However, when Houston allows 106 or more points, they’re just 12-9.
At this point, Houston and Golden State appear to be on a collision course to the Western Conference Finals. For Houston to finally get over the hump and make it back to The NBA Finals, they have to play like a top 10 defense.