Rockets’ James Harden, Gerald Green not worried about landing 4th seed, Jazz matchup in playoffs
The Houston Rockets could only muster the fourth seed in the Western Conference after a one-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder put their fate in the hands of their opponents on Wednesday. The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers kept their respective spots at second and third in the West, forcing teammates James Harden and Gerald Green to draw a matchup against the Utah Jazz:
“Not the way we wanted to end it of course, but I think we are in a pretty good space,” said Harden after a crushing loss decided by a Paul George last-second corner three, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “We have been playing well. Defensively, we have been getting after it. Offensively, we have been knocking down shots. We are excited. We are ready.”
“This one is over and now we prepare for something big.”
The Rockets still boasted the best post-All-Star record in the league at 20-5, heading into the postseason winning eight of their last 10 games.
Houston has been on an uphill climb ever since falling to the 14th spot in the Western Conference, as the Rockets dug themselves out of a deep hole behind Harden’s efforts;
“We’ve been phenomenal,” said Green. “We had a few slip-ups. I think everybody is disappointed by how (the season) ended. But at the end of the day, we’re right where we need to be. Our swag’s right. We’re going to really prepare ourselves. I like the position we’re in. We started off the season horribly. For us to be here and to have had a fighting chance to be second, right now, we’re right where we need to be.
“We made some mistakes. But we can’t dwell on that. Now is when it’s fun.”
Houston beat out the Jazz 4-1 in the second round of the playoffs last season, keeping them under 100 points scored in three of their five games.
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