The Houston Rockets are looking to break it up this offseason after being ousted by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Their most-recent playoff failure was most troubling because it came with Warriors star Kevin Durant sidelined. Houston lost a game-ending Game 6 at home.
On the heels of interesting comments from the team’s owner, Austin Rivers took to ESPN and added more fuel to the drama Friday.
“The way we play is for him to do the things he does. I think that’s a very hard thing to do in the playoffs,” Rivers said.
This wasn’t as much a criticism of Harden as it was a critique of head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey. If the style of play (a ball-dominant Harden) is not indicative of playoff success, either that scheme or surrounding players must change.
For his part, Harden averaged 34.8 points on 44% shooting in the Warriors’ series. He also grabbed 7.0 rebounds, but averaged just 5.5 assists per.
Rivers did downplay the reported spat between Harden and Paul. He also went to bat for D’Antoni in the interview.
Even then, it’s hard to look past that gold quote. It’s akin to doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.
That will likely change in Houston this summer.