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Mike D’Antoni opens up about series with Warriors, what ‘killed’ Rockets

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets, Warriors

The Houston Rockets were unable to exact revenge against the Golden State Warriors this season. After losing to the two-time champions in the Western Conference Finals last year, they had all the motivation that they need to beat the Dubs this time around.

But it didn’t happen.

Although it was a tightly contested series, it was the Warriors who emerged victorious once again in the playoffs. The Rockets had no answer for Golden State, who even played the final five quarters of the series without their best player, Kevin Durant.

In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni revealed some of the reasons why and how Houston lost the series.

“We did not rebound the ball well. We gave them too many shots. You cannot give them extra possessions. We did that,” D’Antoni explained.

“We didn’t rebound the ball well, so that means we weren’t in transition as much as we should’ve been. And their defense, in a set half-court, is really, really good. I think the combinations of those two things, just getting out in transition and how we couldn’t do it because of the rebounding, I think that killed us. That killed us.”

But for D’Antoni, the most important factor of the Warriors’ victory over them in the playoffs was their championship mentality. He said they tried to go head-to-head with Golden State on the offensive end but eventually failed to make the shots that mattered the most.

“We actually shot, probably, better than them for most of the series. I don’t know about the last game, but most of the series we shot better. So we did our parts on a lot of it, and I thought our defense was good. They made some great individual plays at the end of Game 6 – some great individual plays. What Steph did on a couple shots, and Klay (Thompson) in the first half (in which he had 21 of his 27 points), and then Steph in the second half. They have that championship mentality, and we just couldn’t snuff it out of them.”

The Rockets are still expected to be contenders again next season. They will surely want to have another shot at the Warriors in the playoffs. However, unless they figure out a way to develop a winning strategy against a team that has a championship pedigree, the outcome of the series will likely be the same.

Houston has lost to Golden State in the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. So at some point, they will need to find a way to turn things around.

The post Mike D’Antoni opens up about series with Warriors, what ‘killed’ Rockets appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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