Mike D’Antoni doubles down on Rockets’ ‘favorites’ label after acquiring Russell Westbrook
D’Antoni believes the Rockets have earned the rights to be considered as favorites. Despite the setbacks in the past two seasons, the veteran head coach sounded more confident and excited with their chances next year.
“I think we’re gonna be, as we were and still are, one of the favorites in the West, if not the favorite,” D’Antoni said via Mark Berman of Fox 26. “We’re going to go have a great year. I’m excited as heck.”
The 68-year-old coach will have a new superstar duo in James Harden and Westbrook next season. The Rockets reunited Harden with his former teammate in Oklahoma City through a huge deal earlier this month. Houston sent Chris Paul, two first-round picks and two pick swaps to the Thunder in exchange for the explosive guard.
D’Antoni and Co, however, face strong competition in the loaded West. While the Rockets have arguably one of the best backcourts in the NBA, they still need to go through the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. The Clips boast the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George tandem, while the Purple and Gold have LeBron James and Anthony Davis.