Warriors

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

The Rockets are riding high after their 116-108 win over the Warriors on Saturday night.

Maybe a little too high.

After the game, starting center Clint Capela had some bold things to say about the rivalry.

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them. We've got to keep playing. We know that they're going to come back if we have the lead, and we've just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we're doing what we're supposed to do on defense -- all the switches, the weak side -- and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them. We are better than them," Capela told ESPN after the game in Houston.

The young big man doubled down.

"We're definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy. We've definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back. The thing is, of course, we're excited because it's the Warriors, but Monday is an important game, too. If we lose and the [Warriors] win their game, what was the point? The next game, every single time, is going to be the key to go get the No. 1, first seed," Capela told ESPN.

Guard Eric Gordon didn't go as far, but still compared the Rockets favorably to the Warriors.

"Offensively, we're just as good as them, no question. Defensively, they're a championship team. They're consistent, whether they win or lose. Us, we still have peaks and valleys. We just can't have those. That's why we've got to play well the next game, because we just have to sustain the same effort," Gordon said via ESPN.

The Rockets won the season-series with the Warriors by taking two out of the three meetings. They now trail the Warriors by 3.5 games in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference.

But are they really better than the defending NBA champs? Are the Warriors worried at all about the Rockets?

"The season starts over when you're in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn't matter. You're going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn't matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point," Warriors forward Kevin Durant told ESPN after the game.

Draymond Green really didn't want to hear about home-court advantage.

"It's game 40-what? Seven, eight? Who we play on Tuesday? We just got to get ready for [New York]. Home court will take care of itself down the road," told reporters after the game.

With no more meetings during the regular season, the next time the two teams could meet, assuming they finish with the top two seeds, is in the Western Conference Finals. So we'll have to wait until May to see if the Rockets can back up the tough talk.

During the draft, the Warriors tried to trade up to select Jacob Evans

During the draft, the Warriors tried to trade up to select Jacob Evans

With the 28th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Warriors selected Jacob Evans.

"When our pick was up, it was clear it was him," Bob Myers told reporters on Thursday night. "There was no debate as far as who we were taking. When it got to us, he was the guy without hesitation."

You could say that the Warriors are lucky to have ended up with Evans.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: What does the Jacob Evans selection mean for Pat McCaw?]

The front office nearly executed a trade to ensure they got the Cincinnati product.

"We had a number of guys who we were really interested in, but I think as the draft started to continue to go on, it became pretty apparent to us that a bunch of the other guys that we liked were not going to be there," assistant GM Kirk Lacob said on 95.7 The Game on Friday morning. "We actually at one point tried to trade up to get Jacob -- we were getting a little worried that he wasn't gonna get there -- but we were really happy that he ended up with us."

Golden State also tried to buy a pick early in the second round, but couldn't strike a deal.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors begin infusion of youth with roster tweaks

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AP

Warriors begin infusion of youth with roster tweaks

OAKLAND -- Within hours of adding a draft pick, the Warriors were making another move in their summer of roster tweaking, having decided to waive two-way big man Chris Boucher.

There will be several other moves in the coming weeks as the defending champs seek an infusion of youth for next season.

The dismissal of Boucher on Friday opens up both two-way slots for next season, in addition to four to six additional roster spots that could be available.

The Warriors definitely intend to fill both slots. The two-way designation was implemented last season to give teams more roster flexibility. Two-way players are assigned to G-League teams and are limited to a maximum 45 days in the NBA.

“We’re still learning about the position,” general manager Bob Myers said of the two-way designation. “What’s the best way to utilize it? We learned that for our team, we might need more guys that can step in and less development. But that’s what we have to figure out.”

Boucher, 25 and coming off major knee surgery, was signed last June as a development project. The team did not sign another two-way player until October, when it added guard Quinn Cook, who shined in the G-League and eventually earned a standard NBA contract.

Though the Warriors failed in their attempts to purchase a second-round pick in the draft Thursday night -- first-round choice Jacob Evans III, a wing from Cincinnati, was their total haul -- the team continues to actively pursue free agents that may be available for Summer League play next month.

Oakland University guard Kendrick Nunn has, according to multiple sources, agreed to a partially guaranteed deal. He averaged 25.9 points per game last season, ranking behind only NCAA scoring leader Trae Young of Oklahoma.

Also in line to join the Summer League roster are Oregon guard Elijah Brown, son of Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown, and Georgetown power forward Marcus Derrickson.