Down 3-1 and heading into a place that’s been a veritable House of Horrors for them recently, the Houston Rockets certainly have their backs up against the wall. Still, Dwight Howard doesn’t want to hear anyone’s pessimism, and doesn’t even want any pessimistic people traveling with the team.
Dwight Howard on #rockets Game 5 in Oakland: "If you don’t believe you can win, stay in Houston. Don’t get on the plane."
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 25, 2016
Howard has reason for optimism, as he won’t have to contend with Steph Curry for any rebounds.
In all seriousness, we have to be fair and note that this is a pretty standard company line. Realistically, nobody on the Rockets could say anything else. You wouldn’t want anyone on the team talking about imminent offseason plans before the season is over.
Still, nothing in the recent history of this rivalry indicates that Houston has any chance on Wednesday.
The Rockets haven’t won in Oakland since December of 2013. Since then, Golden State is 9-0 on its home court against Houston and 15-2 overall.
Even without Curry on the floor, the Rockets have been a disorganized mess. Curry did make a big impact on Game 1 when he was out there, but the Warriors won Game 2 pretty comfortably without the MVP. Curry was also absent in Houston’s Game 3 win at home, but that was a one-point victory against a Golden State team that also got a mediocre game from Klay Thompson and an abysmal game from Draymond Green.
Curry did play in the Warriors’ Game 4 road victory but left at halftime with an injury when the game was tied. Even playing on the road and without their star, Golden State still managed to outscore Houston by 27 points in the second half.
So while Dwight Howard might be saying the right things, his confidence doesn’t exactly come from a solid place.