D'Antoni shrugs off 27 straight missed threes: Rockets have right formula
Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni insists his team have "the right formula" despite seeing them miss a playoff record 27 straight three-pointers in the game seven defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
The Rockets' reliance on the three is illustrated by the fact they broke the record for the most shots attempted from beyond the arc in a single NBA regular season for the second year in succession this term with 3,470, making 1,256 – also beating the league benchmark they set in 2016-17.
However, Houston - without the injured Chris Paul - went cold in their decider against defending champions the Warriors, converting just seven of their 44 attempts from downtown in the 101-92 defeat at Toyota Center.
Asked if the outcome made D'Antoni lose confidence in relying on three-point shooting, he replied: "No, because the other team's doing it. Not at all. No, that's what you do. That's where the game's going.
"Now we should have made some more, but no, I don't lose confidence in that. No, we've got the right formula.
"We've got to execute it. We've got to do a little bit better, and it would be nice if they would help out a little bit, but it seems like they're not. We'll get better."
Congratulations to the Rockets on an excellent season. This is a great team with a bright future. Houston should be proud.— Yao Ming (@YaoMing) May 29, 2018
The Rockets finished the season top of the Western Conference and with the best record in the NBA (65-17), and D'Antoni feels they are close to finally ending the Warriors' period of dominance, with Steve Kerr's side having made the Finals for a fourth year in succession.
"Obviously, Golden State has set the bar for the whole league, not just us. We know where we have to go. We feel like we're really close, and we just need a good summer of work," said the coach.
"We turned it on defensively, I think, from the All-Star break on. That will not slip. We'll get even better there.
"So, I'm obviously optimistic because of the guys we're dealing with, and they're winners. You keep knocking on the door, and they'll eventually open."
Golden State overturned an 11-point half-time deficit by outscoring the Rockets 33-15 in the third quarter, Stephen Curry scoring 14 off five-of-six shooting.
James Harden insisted that despite seeing shots fail to fall for a prolonged period, there was no plan for Houston to change their approach.
"We're just going to keep shooting them. We've done it all year long. The first half, just our energy defensively was different. That created more opportunities for the three and they went in," said Harden
"As a result of that, we got a double-digit lead going into half-time. Those same opportunities were there in the second half, we just didn't make them. They made tough shots. That's it pretty much."