What I’m Hearing: HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy spoke with a handful of NBA players and polled them on who they think will win the title this year. Survey says!
Be careful what you wish for, the saying goes. It’s usually good advice, especially if what you wish for is a playoff matchup with the two-time defending champs.
The Houston Rockets defeated the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night to clinch the series in five games and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Houston will likely face the Golden State Warriors, winners of three of the last four championships. The Warriors lost Wednesday night, but still have a 3-2 series lead on the Los Angeles Clippers.
Rockets center Clint Capela made it known he’s ready for a date with the Warriors.
“That’s what I want. I want to face them,” Capela said in the postgame press conference.
Seated next Capela on the dais, Chris Paul immediately recognized the potential headlines his teammate was creating.
“Oh man, you’re going to be all over Bleacher Report,” said Paul. A moment later, Paul said to a nearby reporter, “Look at you, you can’t wait to tweet that.”
The second-round showdown would be a rematch of last year’s seven-game thriller in the Western Conference finals. The Warriors overcame a 3-2 series deficit to win the last two games, including Game 7 in Houston. They went on to sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for their second consecutive title and third in four years.
Capela is looking forward to the challenge of dethroning Golden State.
“I think that if you want to be a champion, you’ve got to beat the champion,” he said.
Seeing the juicy nature of the quote, Paul told reporters, “Make sure y’all put that too.”
Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.