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Rockets center Clint Capela still thinks Houston is a better team, even after Game 1 loss vs. Warriors


Despite a vital 119-106 loss in Game 1 of the series, Houston Rockets big man Clint Capela has been relentlessly confident in his team’s ability to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, who stole home court on Monday night.

Capela infamously proclaimed his team was better than the defending champion after a Jan. 20 win, which gave the Rockets a 2-1 series lead in the regular season, one Draymond Green urged he back up during this Western Conference Finals.

Yet, the belief is still there for the young Swiss center, even after being a game down for the first time in this postseason, deeming their previous mistakes fixable.

“Oh yeah, yeah,” Capela told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports when asked if he still saw the Rockets as the better team after Game 1. “We knew this series was going to be hard. We knew there’d be some games … (where they’d) just have to go out here and fight. We know what we did wrong.”

The young center had 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, most of which came at the end of lobs from James Harden, who led all scorers with 41 points.

“I thought the difference between the regular season and the game tonight is that I think the regular season we were more aware about switching the ball (on defense) and being aggressive on the fast break defense,” said Capela, looking back to a few months ago. “I really think that was really the difference. Whenever they score, we’re not getting our pace and what we’re looking for. That’s harder.”

Capela has identified the rough edges, but it will now be up to him and his teammates to polish them and salvage a win out of this home court stint.

“We’re just out here waiting on (Harden and Chris Paul) to make the decisions,” Capela said. “This is what they do. This is what they’ve been doing all season long, so it’s something that is harder to do right now. Maybe we’re going to have to be more aware on the weak side, maybe (use) flares to get guys open, to get more movement, so all the focus won’t be on the guys on the weak side.”

The Rockets will take on the Warriors again in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday, hoping to avoid falling into a scary 0-2 hole against a team with championship pedigree.

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