Chris Paul claims Rockets expect ball to go in
The Houston Rockets entered the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers trailing by one, facing the hottest team in the league and one who had not lost a game since the All-Star break.
Yet an air of confidence breezed through the entire lineup, as they managed to take control from the onset and ended their season-high 13-game win streak with a 115-111 win on the road.
“We just expect it,” said Rockets point guard Chris Paul after the win, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had this sort of feeling. The coaching staff, everybody on the team, we all believe in one another. Even though everybody else, when it goes in, will be like, “Ohhhhh, it went it.’ We expect it to.”
The Rockets seem to have an innate trust in each other, no matter who is shooting the ball — a trust that has proved pivotal in their success as the league’s most prolific three-point shooting team, armed from top to bottom with three-and-D players capable to play the role of catalyst at any point in the game.
Among them is P.J. Tucker, who was signed after giving the Toronto Raptors a boost following a trade from the Phoenix Suns, now making his living in Clutch City. His effort paved the way for James Harden’s game-high 42 points, seven of which came in the last period, in the form of two eye-popping step back three-pointers.
“It’s what he does,” Tucker said. “Everybody does their job. He finishes the game strong like that. I hustle, get offensive rebounds, extra possessions, stops. Luc (Mbah a Moute.) Trev. Everybody does their job. Clint (Capela.) Everybody does what they do. That’s why this team is so consistent. That’s why at the end of the day we have the results we do, because nobody tries to do more or less than what they do.”
With no role envy in the horizon, this team has proved cohesive beyond the backcourt tandem of Paul and Harden, with all the role players thriving in their role and helping Harden have the MVP-caliber season he’s enjoying now.