The Houston Rockets aren’t giving much thought to Stephen Curry’s recent comments about how Golden State’s upcoming matchup with Houston is a ‘statement game.’
The Rockets and Warriors, arguably the two best teams in the Western Conference, have been heading in opposite directions in the last few weeks.
The Rockets have the longest current winning streak in the league, winning their ninth game in a row on Monday night against Charlotte. Houston’s streak started after they beat the Warriors at home without James Harden.
Golden State, on the other hand, has lost six of their last nine games. Their season reached its lowest point when they lost to the Phoenix Suns, the league’s worst team, at home. The Warriors’ defense has not been as potent this year and their bench isn’t as deep. Golden State actually looks quite vulnerable, and Stephen Curry told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears that the Warriors are looking forward to sending a statement during their game with Houston on Wednesday.
“The beauty of the NBA is that on Wednesday we have an opportunity to send a statement. We have to take advantage of that opportunity. We’re looking forward to it, no question,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. The Warriors are at Houston on Wednesday.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) March 11, 2019
The Rockets were pretty quick to shoot down Curry’s comments.
Clint Capela seemed to suggest that the Warriors lack confidence, which is why they feel as though their upcoming matchup with the Rockets is a must win.
More Capela on Curry calling Wednesday's game a statement game: "Maybe they're in that situation where they need to (call it a statement game) to prove themselves that they are at that level."
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) March 12, 2019
Mike D’Antoni‘s comments were even sharper. The offensive genius joked that maybe Stephen Curry should have thought about taking care of business against the tanking Phoenix Suns before worrying about Houston, according to Yahoo Sports.
“Yeah, well, they should have probably said it before the game. I’m sure they are [wanting to send a statement]. Why wouldn’t they? I’d be surprised if they didn’t feel that way.”
In the first matchup of the year between these two heavyweights, the Rockets blew out Golden State 107-86 at home. In the second matchup of the year on Jan. 03, James Harden nailed a miraculous game-winning 3-pointer in overtime at Oracle Arena to defeat the Warriors 135-134. Both Chris Paul and Eric Gordon were injured in that game. In the most recent matchup on Feb. 23, the Rockets again beat Golden State at home 118-112 behind a big game from Chris Paul. This time, it was James Harden who watched the game from the sidelines.
If the Rockets beat the Warriors on Wednesday in Houston, they will complete a season sweep against a team that has won back-to-back titles. That would give Houston, who has won nine games in a row, even more momentum heading into the postseason. This will be a must-watch game.