Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Rockets are getting ready to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday Night with a win ending the first round playoff series at 4-1 for the Rockets. But it hasn’t been an easy run for James Harden and company as the Thunder have led for more minutes than the Rockets, despite the Rockets 3-1 series lead thus far.
Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey joined Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on Mad Radio on SportsRadio 610 Tuesday and pointed out the defense the Thunder are using is unlike anything the Mike D’Antoni led team has seen.
“A lot of teams are taking away three pointers, they are basically giving us the drive,” Morey said of the Thunder defense. “Coach Donavan is a very good coach and because they are guarding us different than pretty much any team, whatever they are going to throw at us (the Rockets) will be ready.”
The Rockets have been slow to get started in this series coming from behind to win games 2 and 4 and trailing before getting back into their losing effort in game 3.
“Obviously we’ve been a team that can come back and has a lot of weapons,” Morey told Mad Radio. “Unfortunately we’ve relied on that a little bit and (the Thunder) have come out with a great intensity. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team. I know our guys are real focused in front of our home fans to get a good start like we did in game one, and we haven’t had a good one since then.”
The Rockets have a commanding lead in this series and while the Rockets aren’t looking ahead Morey did shoot some praise over to the Western Conference’s top seed the Golden State Warriors, even though he thinks the Rockets are one of a few teams that can beat Golden State.
“Sports is littered with Goliath’s being knocked off, including Golden State last year, 73-wins in the regular season, so they’re beatable,” Morey said when asked about the Rockets possibly facing the Warriors later in the playoffs. “I do feel like, head-to-head, we’re one of the teams with one of the best chances to beat them. You get two big games from James Harden, two big three-point games, and it will probably take seven to beat them, but we’re set up with our variance and our three-point shots to at least give them a go. Obviously, they are an extraordinarily good team. We won’t be favored, that’s for sure.”
The Rockets will play game five tonight at Toyota Center at 7:00 pm.
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