Rockets Owner: I Was "Positive" There Would Be A Game 7

Tilman Fertitta explained what went wrong against the Warriors – and how the Rockets can beat them next year

Tiki and Tierney
May 22, 2019 - 6:46 pm
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The Houston Rockets have made the playoffs seven years in a row, but they keep running into the Golden State Warriors, who have beaten them in four of the last five postseasons.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, however, is committed to keeping Houston’s core together.

“The one thing I don’t want to be is average,” Fertitta said on Tiki & Tierney. “Right now, the Rockets have been to the playoffs (seven) years in a row. I think only San Antonio has a longer record, but I don’t want to be a 6- or 7- or 8-seed. We want to compete for a championship every year, and you want to keep extending the runway. . . . At some point, something’s got to change here.”

The Rockets have James Harden, Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker all under contract next season and should be firmly in the Western Conference mix.

But can they reach the Finals for the first time since 1995?

“We need to make our bench stronger,” Fertitta said. “These five guys playing the Warriors, there was no game more than six points away from each other. They could have swept us in four and we could have swept them in four. Their (shots) fell and ours didn’t, and they beat us 4-2, which was extremely disappointing because I was positive we were going to go back for that seventh game at Golden State. 

“But we’re going to make our team better, I can promise you that,” Fertitta continued. “We’re going to get more points off of our bench. We got a great core, a central five that I’ll put up against anybody – except maybe Golden State.”

Fertitta added that Mike D’Antoni will coach the team for the foreseeable future.

“Mike is going to be around,” Fertitta said. “I think Mike will be around for years to come as long as we continue to win like we are.”