Houston Rockets: Draymond Green quips about team’s defensive prowess

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Draymond Green
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Draymond Green /

The Houston Rockets will open up their season tonight against the Golden State Warriors on prime time television and Draymond Green thinks his opponent is soft on defense.

Houston Rockets fans — it’s not too much of a surprise that this news came from Draymond Green himself but with the league’s best trash-talker slated to take the team on tonight, it’s right on schedule.  I’m starting to get annoyed with this tidbit because this team does play defense when it warrants.  And let’s face it — your current Houston Rockets aren’t designed to be dominant defenders.

It has always been the adage of a Mike D’Antoni-led offense and I’d expect no different this season as well.  The 2016-17 Rockets were the No. 2 team in offensive efficiency, scoring 111.8 points per 100 possessions.  On the other hand, their defensive efficiency was tied for 17th — along with the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks — allowing 106.4 points per 100.

That’s certainly an improvement from the season previous where the team was ranked near the bottom.  That 41-41 2015-16 team just didn’t give a damn so I’d like to erase that season from my memory anyway.

But back to the stuff said by Green.

During the Warriors’ media availability yesterday, Green was asked a series of questions about his

opponents, particularly of what D’Antoni said about his team to ESPN.

D’Antoni said that “You’re not gonna stop them …  they’re not gonna stop us, either.”

Green responded with this quip to Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury-News:

"“I don’t know how serious they take defense with that comment,” Green said, shaking his head.“But they added some good defensive players.”"

He also added this:

"“They want it to be a shoot out, which is fine,” Green said. “But we’re going to play some defense. We scored pretty well. But we’re a damn good defensive team too. So we’re going to play some defense.”"

He’s alluding to the Warriors being ranked No. 2 in defensive efficiency for last season, yielding just 101.1 points per 100.

There’s no doubt that there’s some credence to Green’s quotes but the Houston Rockets need to stick it to them tonight, prove this man wrong and shut those naysayers up.  Patrick Beverley was an extremely dominant defender but I honestly think we won’t miss a bit with Chris Paul at the point.

We will miss that pest-like mentality that Bev provided, getting into opponent’s heads but effect of trading him away has been negligible.

Next: Projecting the 2017-18 Rockets starting five

The Rockets will take on the Warriors tonight on the road at Oracle Areana with tip-off scheduled to commence at 9:30 p.m. CDT.  The game will be telecast on TNT and broadcast on SportsTalk 790AM (KBME), Sirius/XM/SiriusXM Internet 890 and La Ranchera 101.7 FM (KNTE) & 850 AM (KEYH) in Spanish.

Go Rockets.