After a frustrating Game 1 between these powerhouses of the West, the Rockets tried to even up the series against the Warriors last night. A series which every NBA fan had their odds in favor of Houston. The Warriors seemed to have weakened their chances for a three-peat when they lost two games against the Los Angeles Clippers, but in this series they have their foot on the pedal and if Houston doesn’t adjust we can see the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
One of my favorite sports movies is Coach Carter, why did I said that? Because I remember in one scene where the players of Richmond Oilers where showing off against a weak opponent and coach Carter famously said: “Just play the damn game!”. That phrase is the only thing I can think of when I saw these two games between the Warriors and Rockets.
This phrase is not the same situation as the Richmond Oilers in the movie, but it relates to Houston’s situation because their mentality is not on winning this series. They are not coming to play to win, they are looking for a fair chance against the Warriors. Harden said it in a post-game interview. All they want is a fair series. I’m not saying that refs called a great or bad game, but you have to consider that if you want to beat a former NBA champion, you can’t expect the refs to decide the game for you. You can’t go looking for footage of Steve Kerr in past seasons saying that the refs weren’t calling the right way.
If you want to win the series you have to play the damn game! You can’t shoot the ball expecting for a foul. It has constantly happen that in the regular season young inexperienced refs are manipulated to call easy fouls, in the postseason is very different. The refs aren’t deciding the game for you, and that is an adjustment the Rockets have to make. They can’t lose this series and go blame the refs for it. Those controversial shots of James Harden and Chris Paul getting fouled on the three point line, they got hit in some of them, but there are shots where you can see that they are looking for a call. It’s what shooters in the NBA do, take a shot or look for a foul.
Let’s talk about the turnover situation for both teams. In Game 1, the Warriors turned it over 20 times and not on many did the Rockets execute to score off those turnovers. CP3 and the Beard had 9 turnovers, that’s something that can’t happen for your teams best playmakers. It’s easy to blame the refs for losing, but what you don’t tell press is that in Game 2 James Harden had 6 turnovers and Chris Paul had 4 turnovers. How is it possible that your two guards have the most amount of turnovers and you expect to win. The Warriors had 12 total turnovers in that game, what about Houston? Yep, their starting five had 14 turnovers. More than the whole Warriors squad.
The Rockets need help and they have play the damn game! If you know your best weapon is your offense, then execute and don’t worry about the refs. The calls will arrive eventually, but you can’t depend on them. Stop depending on the refs because it’s not going to help you in any way. And limit your turnovers, I know the Warriors are tough to handle but control the ball so you can win.