The Warriors beat the Rockets by 11 points and 12 points.
Then, James Harden said “They ain’t even that good.”
So, the Warriors beat the Rockets by 25 points and 13 points (a margin that was much greater before things got messy in extended garbage time).
Houston still can’t stop throwing shade at Golden State, even if that’s the relative dishonor of calling them beneath the NBA’s best team.
This time, Dwight Howard – an Atlanta native – carried the torch:
- Reporter: “Dwight, how good are the Warriors, though? You said they are the best team in the league the way they’ve been playing?”
- Howard: “I think the Hawks are the best team.”
- Reporter: “Why?”
- Howard: “Because they’ve got the best record, right?” (Reporters indicate they don’t.) “They don’t? Well, I thought they were the best team.”
If you want to say the Hawks are the NBA’s best team, that’s a reasonable opinion. But if your first point is they have the NBA’s best record, you’re doing it wrong.
And it isn’t as if Howard checked the standings a few days ago before they changed. Golden State (blue) has had a better record than Atlanta (red) all season:
To be fair, Howard offered a few platitudes in defense of the Hawks. (“They play well. They move the ball. Their defense and their offense has been great.”) But his goal was clearly to poke the Warriors, something made easier by the opportunity to reasonably compliment his hometown team.
If you look at the standings more closely than Howard did, though, you’ll find something fun: If the Western Conference teams continue at their current pace, the Warriors and Rockets would be only one playoff-series victory a piece away from a postseason matchup.