Playoffs 2018 West First Round: Rockets (1) vs. Timberwolves (8)

Championship run remains 'ultimate goal' for Houston Rockets' superstars

From NBA media reports

Entering this season, 20 teams had won 65 or more games in NBA history. The Houston Rockets became the 21st team in that club with their win on Tuesday and, of those 20 teams who won 65 or more games, only four of them failed to win a title.

As Houston’s playoff opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves nears (Sunday, 9 ET, TNT), the Rockets are well aware that winning an NBA title will make this season truly memorable. At least, that is the approach players such as James Harden, Chris Paul and others are taking. To coach Mike D’Antoni — someone who has coached other stellar NBA squads that missed out on titles — he’s keeping the playoffs in perspective.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has more on the Rockets’ mindset as the playoffs near:

“The ultimate goal is to hold that trophy up, so until we do that, there’s no celebrations,” guard James Harden said. “We haven’t done anything yet.”

Not anything?

“We all know,” guard Chris Paul said, “we will be judged by the postseason.”

“Now, obviously, we would like to celebrate it with a championship. But it doesn’t diminish Steve Nash, how good he was for three or four years in this league. I don’t buy that it’s all about the rings. There’s a lot of guys who have rings that can’t play a lick. They happened to be on the bench with some great players. I don’t buy into that.”

“… We’ll see. This year, we had a great regular season and we’ll try to do it in the postseason.

“Even if we finished third, everybody going into the playoffs; like the regular season, you go in thinking you’re going to be the best team. We have that mentality. Everybody does. We had a great regular season, but it doesn’t matter. To me, what it does mean is we’re pretty good.”

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