On Saturday night, the Rockets were embarrassed on their home court, losing 115-80 to the Warriors and falling to a 3-0 deficit, on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference Finals. Houston will be going home for the summer with one more loss, and at practice on Sunday, Dwight Howard called out the team’s effort.
Dwight Howard: “I saw quit from everybody in the arena. We can’t have that.”
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 24, 2015
Howard isn’t wrong. There’s no other way to describe the Rockets’ performance in Game 3. Howard is also the only player on the team with any room to make such a criticism: for however much flack he takes from the fans, media and general public, Howard has been tremendous in this series, especially in Game 2, when he put up 19 points and 17 rebounds on a bad knee. He’s been bringing the effort. Everyone else, not so much.
On Monday, we’ll see how Houston responds with their backs against the wall. They looked all but dead in the second round, trailing the Clippers 3-1 after four games. But they mounted a comeback and ultimately won the series in seven games. So theoretically, there’s a chance they’ll escape the jaws of defeat once again. On the other hand, no team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs, and the Warriors are a historically great team at both ends of the floor. So it’s highly unlikely.