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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


How to beat the Warriors? Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has a sure-fire formula

By Eddie Alinea
02 Oct 2018

The Houston Rockets had extended the Golden State Warriors to seven games for the Western Conference Finals last season.

Head coach Mike D’Antoni and his Rockets, in fact, led the best–of-seven title series, 3-2, and could have won the pennant had Chris Paul not suffered injury.

That, according to NBA pundits and Houston fans, allowed the Warriors to take Games 6 and 7 on the way to sweeping LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs for all the marbles.

D’Antoni, the 2016-2017 season coach of the year, knows this coming season’s championship looks to have been reserved for the Warriors, who’ve won three of the past four titles and are gunning for a three -peat.

Despite acquiring 10-time All Star Carmelo Anthony this summer, D’Antoni’s belief for the Warriors to collect another crown is as true as ever although during the pre-season Open Court interview with the coaches, the 67-year-old West Virginia native talked about a sure-fire formula on how to beat the title-defending crew from the Bay Area.

The Warriors, he said, are unbeatable with the addition of all Star center DeMarcus Cousins to the already star-studded roster of his friend Steve Kerr built around MVPs Stephen curry and Kevin Durant.

“Just eliminate the Warriors from the NBA,” D’Antoni suggested smiling and without butting an eyelash. “That's one way to compete with the Warriors.”

“It’s true. If the Warriors were no longer part of the NBA, it would open up a ton of opportunities for other teams to win the title,” D’ Antoni reasoned out, drawing laughter from his fellow bench tacticians.

Even then, the Warriors are odds-on favorites to win their fourth title in five seasons and third in a row. Based on the make up of the conference, it’s pretty much up to Houston to knock this team off.

D’Antoni’s counterpart on the San Antonio Spurs front, meanwhile, coach Gregg Popovich, had an equally laughable comment on new-recruit DeMar DeRozan’s defensive prowess or lack of it.

Reacting to DeRozan’s statement that he was looking forward to getting easier shots now that he was a member of the Spurs, Pop trolled his new shooting guard in conversation with media early this week.

“I don’t (know) why he said that because we’re only going to play him on the defensive end,” the ever quotable Popovich replied. “We’re not throwing him the ball. I forgot to tell him that. You guys can go ahead and tell him so he knows.”

DeRozan, who was acquired by the Spurs from the Toronto Raptors in July as part of the Kawhi Leonard trade, is a four-time All-Star and has scored 20 or more points per game in each of the last five seasons. He has been known as a defensive minus for much of his nine-year NBA career though.

It’s safe to say that DeRozan probably won’t mind the friendly jab however, as he has held his new head coach in high regard for many years now.

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