Houston hasn’t lived up to the expectations they set a year ago, when they finished with the best record in the Western Conference and took a 3-2 lead against the Warriors in the Conference Finals. But the Rockets are starting to click, and are now 34-25, fifth in the West.
And it shouldn’t be too surprising that beating the Warriors at Oracle Arena, without James Harden, to improve to 3-0 on the year in the series, had Houston feeling themselves.
And Paul was, true to form, a bit vocal about it. The Rockets have long maintained that Houston would have won last year’s series had Paul not been injured for the final two games. The Warriors, on the other hand, have pointed out that the series would have been over early had Andre Iguodala not missed the last four games.
After Paul had 23 points and 17 assists in Saturday’s victory, he tried to state the case that he’s the vital figure, not Iguodala.
“What did [Iguodala] say about the series last year? If he would have played, they would have swept us? Then he must be the X-factor,” Paul told Yahoo Sports, a reference to his own ‘X-Factor’ nickname. “That’s the punchline you needed, right?”
Hopefully things don’t get too testy between Paul and Iguodala, since Iguodala was recently named the NBPA First Vice President to Paul’s presidency.
And I think it’s safe to say that both teams are hoping they run into each other again in the postseason.