The Warriors beat the Rockets, 4-3, in the 2018 Western Conference finals.
In the most recent episode of the “Book of Basketball 2.0” podcast, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discussed that matchup with Bill Simmons.
When Simmons said, “If you played that series 10 times, I think you win six,” Morey took it one step further.
“Six or seven,” he declared. “I’d say seven but if you went to Vegas they’d say more like six.”
Houston put up a great fight, but Golden State was favored entering the series. The end result was as expected, even if it were an eventful journey to that point.
The Rockets might say they would’ve won if Chris Paul didn’t get hurt. But Andre Iguodala also missed games due to injury, and Houston put Paul at greater risk by leaning so heavily on the relatively old player.
The Rockets might say missing 27 straight 3-pointers in Game 7 was fluky. But Houston’s isolation-heavy style with James Harden, while generally effective, also left role players out of rhythm.
Those Warriors were an all-time great team. They won. There’s no need to overthink it.
But this is what the Rockets do. They dwell on counterfactuals and claim victimhood. It’s a counterproductive attitude that permeates throughout the organization.