Austin Rivers says the Houston bench was way better than the Warriors
Austin Rivers had quite the risky hot take on the set of ESPN’s First Take, as he jumped to say there is no comparison when it comes to talent between the Houston Rockets bench and that of the Golden State Warriors.
“Talent-wise, if you look at their roster versus ours — with KD out — it’s not even close. Their bench is nowhere near the talent that we have,” said Rivers. “But their best players can score without dribbling the ball. It was tough because they just load up on James and then he has to figure out what to do.”
“Their bench is nowhere near the talent that we had.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 7, 2019
The Rockets outscored the Warriors in bench points in the first five games of the series (95-54), but lost the battle in Game 6, where the Warriors poured in a postseason-high 33 points off the bench without Durant in the lineup, fielding 11 players for the first time in the series.
While Houston’s depth is indisputably deeper than Golden State’s, it’s a tricky avenue to venture into, given that Rivers is part of said bench — one general manager Daryl Morey has reportedly put on the trade block in its entirety in hopes to find a team that will get the job done after being eliminated by the Warriors in the last two postseasons, including four out of the last five.
Rivers, like Morey, was quick to point out how the Rockets lost the series, but was seemingly out of answers on how to correct that, or if they will be able to once the teams meet again.
The Rockets had the reversal of fortune land graciously after Durant’s injury put them in the position to get payback from last season’s playoff exit after Chris Paul was sidelined with a groin injury, but they failed to jump on that chance, losing a winnable Game 5 with Durant already ruled out for the remainder of the game, as well as a pivotal Game 6 at home that ultimately set them up for ridicule.
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