James Harden thinks about Game 6 and 7 losses to Warriors every day
No team came so close to shutting the Golden State Warriors down last season than the Houston Rockets. That the Rockets failed to complete their job of eliminating the Warriors in this year’s Western Conference Finals despite being on the cusp of doing so twice continues to eat James Harden inside, per Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports.
“It’s on my mind every day. It’s Game 6, Game 7, that’s what drives me every day,” Harden said.
The Rockets had Golden State on the ropes. After losing two of the first three games of the series to the Warriors, the Rockets tied the series 2-2 with a win in Game 4 and got the upper hand in Game 5 with another victory, though, one that came at a massive cost.
In Game 5, Harden’s running mate in Chris Paul suffered a hamstring injury late in the contest, causing him to miss the remainder of the series. Houston absorbed a blowout loss in Game 6 but had the home court advantage in the winner-take-all Game 7. The Rockets, of course, lost that, too, but not before going just 7-for-44 from the 3-point arc. They even had an infamous stretch in which they missed 27 3-pointers in a row.
Houston was the most prolific outside shooting team last season, and the manner its players choked from distance in Game 7 remains and will likely forever stay with James Harden and company.
The pain of that series loss will also just serve as a motivation for Harden, as he tries once again to lead the Rockets to a title run.
Houston is currently labeled with a +450 price to win the NBA title next season.