In what will almost certainly be a plot line that will come up should they meet again in the postseason, Rockets center Clint Capela said that his team is "better than" the Warriors following Houston's 116-108 Saturday night win over Golden State.
"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them," Capela said to ESPN. "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."
So far so good, but then he added: "We are better than them."
Capela's confident remarks came after Houston's 'W' gave them their second win in three meetings this year against Golden State, which is pretty much the very definition of a small sample size.
While most people wouldn't extract too much from three games, the 2-1 regular season lead would give Houston the tiebreaker over Golden State in the unlikely event that they finish the year with the same record. Currently, the Warriors are the No. 1 seed in the West with a 37-10 mark, while Houston sits in second place, 3.5 games back, at 32-12.
In contrast to that, the defending NBA champs did not seem to give a crap about last night's loss. "No," Kevin Durant (correctly) said when asked if Saturday's final score mattered. "The season starts over when you're in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn't matter. You're going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home, and on the road, so it really doesn't matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point."
Echoing his teammate's point was Draymond Green, who said "Its game 40-what? Seven, eight? 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 two of the last three playoffs, Houston has been eliminated in five games by the Warriors. First in 2015 in the Conference Finals, and then again in 2016 in the first round.
In addition to giving Golden State bulletin board material that they'll re-visit but publicly deny in three-to-four months, Capela also added: "We're definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy." It should be noted that Houston is 17-0 when Capela, Chris Paul, and James Harden are all playing together. But, anyway, sounds like the team that puts together the ad for ABC, TNT, ESPN or whoever will run their inevitable series just had their job(s) made super freakin' easy come playoff time.