Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni warns loss to Warriors should get his players’ attention
James Harden wasn’t worried that a loss to the Golden State Warriors snapped a potential double-digit win streak for the Houston Rockets, but head coach Mike D’Antoni begged to differ, hoping the 106-104 loss to the defending champions would be reason to pay attention to the mistakes they made throughout the game — which he said cost them the game.
“Well, it better be,” D’Antoni said of experiencing the Warriors live as opposed to trying to learn from film, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “Sometimes you don’t learn a lot when you win… If this didn’t get their attention, then we’re in big trouble. It’ll get their attention. And we just gotta figure some things out and do a better job.”
New addition Austin Rivers concurred with his coach’s assessment, acknowledging that letting go of the rope only slightly could be enough to derail their post-All-Star efforts.
“Sometimes games like this can kind of wake you up,” said Rivers. “We won nine in a row… you kind of let go of the rope a little bit or we make some mistakes that we’ve been getting away with maybe against some of the teams we have been playing over the last few weeks. I think it was maybe a reminder that when we play against them, obviously, that’s the goal. The goal is to match up with them, whether it is second round or conference finals, whatever it may be.”
The Rockets were third in the West before a loss dropped them to fourth, now forced to climb back on that ladder for the last 14 games of the season after a 42-26 record put them in the top four of a relentless Western Conference.