“Lack of Spirit”: Rockets Head Coach Disappointed With Team’s Performance After Loss Against Lakers

Published 09/10/2020, 10:54 PM EDT


The Houston Rockets took one right to the heart in Game 4 against the Lakers. A game that lacked equal competition for almost four quarters turned into an exciting one in the final few minutes. The Rockets had a disappointing first half and went into the break trailing by 16-points. Following the loss, coach Mike D’Antoni gave his precise thought on their shabby performance, which now puts the Rockets on the verge of elimination. 

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After winning Game 1, the Rockets are now on a 0-3 run in the series. Even though D’Antoni’s team faced defeat in their previous two games, they didn’t look as uninspiring on the court as they were in Game 4. 

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Everything seemed off about the Rockets tonight, and James Harden’s let down is one among them. ‘The Beard’ went 2-11 in the game and recorded one of the worst off-nights in his career. The last time Harden made only two field goals was back in October 2019 when the Rockets lost their campaign opener against the Bucks. 

Mike D’Antoni comments on the beat-up performance by the Rockets

The Rockets were clearly outplayed right from the start. Moreover, they could not break into the Lakers’ defense. LeBron and the team were proactive in their defense, restricting their opponents from enjoying their game. 

Following the defeat, Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antoni reflected on what went wrong for the team in the first three quarters. They looked flat on the court, unable to cope with the intensity created by the Lakers

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“Just a lack of spirit.” D’Antoni said. Moreover, he knows that the team has taken a blow with this victory and that they have very little time to keep themselves alive in this series. 

“We got down on ourselves a little bit. We’ve been battling uphill the last three or four days. We’ll lay it out on the line and go from there,” D’Antoni added. A major reason behind Houston’s loss is that the Lakers kept Harden quiet. His 18.2 FG% stood as the bleak point in their embarrassment. 

D’Antoni however, does not worry about it as he witnessed how Harden switched his play when he was double-teamed. “Those are stats that don’t really mean anything,” D’Antoni replied about Harden’s shooting.” Just as long as somebody’s scoring. In the half court, they’re going to double it so it’s up to the other guys to score a little more.”

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Houston is now down 3-1 in the series, and they can’t afford any more defeats. If they were to keep their chances of staying in the Playoffs, a convincing upset might be the only way to send the Lakers home. A 100-110 Game 4 loss paints a pitiful picture on the Rockets and their 19/20 campaign. 

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Arjun Athreya

2105 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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