Rockets present historically strong test for defending-champion Warriors




 

As the Warriors entered the season trying to win their second straight NBA title, Golden State coach Steve Kerr said, "The biggest challenge is complacency."

How about the Rockets?

The Warriors certainly looked apathetic throughout the regular season. They played lax defense, showed an abundance of caution with injuries and meandered to a 58-24 record that nobody believes reflects their true ability. Compliancy certainly is a challenge.

But so is Houston.

The Rockets are good. Really good. They went 65-17, scored like gangbusters and defended effectively. James Harden will win MVP, and Chris Paul is an elite secondary star. Led by Clint Capela, Houston's rotation is full of solid role players.

Golden State, without being complacent, could lose to the Rockets.

Houston has the fifth-best record of any playoff-series opponent faced by a defending champion. Here are defending champion's top postseason foes, series the defending champ won in blue and series the defending champ lost in red:

Kerr was reasonable before the season to call "complacency" the Warriors' biggest challenge.

They're so talented - Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson! - so cohesive and so versatile (reasons Golden State will probably beat the Rockets). For teams anywhere near this successful - two championships in the last three years with a 73-win season and NBA Finals appearance sandwiched between - the main threats are often internal.

Challengers as good as Houston rarely emerge.

But the Rockets are here, and they're a genuine obstacle to the Warriors repeating as champions.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Stephen Curry wants to finish his career with Warriors
Stephen Curry wants to finish his career with Warriors

The Golden State Warriors do not need to worry about losing Stephen Curry, who says he wants to retire with the team.

Stephen Curry, want to finish your career a Warrior? "For sure I do. This is home."
Stephen Curry, want to finish your career a Warrior? "For sure I do. This is home."

"This is where I want to be, for obvious reasons."

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn
Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

Minnesota passed on Steph Curry twice in the 2009 draft. Why? Well, the two-time MVP unveiled a story...

Rockets GM Daryl Morey on Warriors signing DeMarcus Cousins:
Rockets GM Daryl Morey on Warriors signing DeMarcus Cousins: 'It's a little bit hard on paper to figure out how to make it work'

Your browser does not support iframes. DeMarcus Cousins picking the Warriors sent shockwaves through the NBA. You know they were felt in Houston, where Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is admittedly obsessed with beating Golden State. Morey on The

Why did Nick Young play for Warriors last season? "I just needed to win"
Why did Nick Young play for Warriors last season? "I just needed to win"

"I had been on a lot of losing teams. Always rebuilding."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Basketball

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.