Houston Rockets center Clint Capela, following his team’s recent win over the Golden State Warriors, said: “We’re definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy. We’ve definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back.”
Wait ... timeout.
Most players in the NBA know what’s happening in the league for which they play. Therefore, Capela should know that this line of thinking is roadkill — a squirrel carcass rapidly decaying at a dead end.
Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers, who:
- blamed their 2015 NBA Finals’ loss on injuries and health;
- bounced back in 2016 to win it all (with Warriors’ players suffering from injuries); and
- suffered a Finals’ loss so embarrassing in 2017 — with everyone healthy (!!!) — that it blew up the team.
Having a healthy squad undoubtedly has a major impact on team success. But so do other factors, like: championship experience, chemistry, discipline, an owner’s purse strings, grace, blessings, humility, and good, old-fashioned luck.
It makes sense that Capela would experience elevated confidence after his Rockets won the regular-season series against the Warriors 2-1. But to proclaim that the Rockets are the best team in the league because they won one game against the history-making reigning champs ... by a measly eight points?
“It’s game 40-what? Seven, eight?” Draymond Green asked, in response to Capela’s outlandish claims. “Who we play on Tuesday? We just got to get ready for [New York]. Home court will take care of itself down the road.”
One day at a time. Patience. Zen feelings aplenty.
Kevin Durant, however, pretty much put Capela in his place with a much saltier response:
Kevin Durant on Clint Capela saying Houston is a better team than the Warriors: “You hear that from guys like Capela, who’s usually catching the ball or laying it up from CP or Harden. His job is not as hard. I mean when your job is that hard you don’t say shit like that.” pic.twitter.com/lbiJ1Doxf9— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) January 22, 2018
Durant, more than any other player in the league, knows that championship bling comes from working harder than one ever thought possible.
But he also knows that it’s not just about hard work, or even talent. It’s the host of other factors, too — all hanging together in a mysterious, delicate balance — that affect whether a team achieves ultimate success.
“The season starts over when you’re in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn’t matter,” Durant said. “You’re going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn’t matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point.”