With the series on the line, and their playoff lives barely clinging on, the Houston Rockets were supposed to come into Game 4 with intensity and energy if they wanted any hope of tieing things up and avoiding a 1-3 deficit.
But for some inexplicable reason, the Rockets looked almost lifeless for most of the night and it appeared as if everyone but Westbrook was just coasting by and going through the motions.
It was disappointing, to say the least, and may have cost the Rockets their season.
When asked to respond on why his team looked so lethargic through the first three-quarters of a pivotal game, not even Harden could offer a sufficient response.
Reporter: “James, in a game with so much at stake why did you guys seem so flat for 3 quarters?”
Harden: “Thats a good question.”
(start at 5:53)
In a follow-up question, the reporter asked Harden if it was hard not knowing what the problem was.
“There’s nothing we can do about it now. We just gotta get ready for Game 5.”
They sound like words of frustration from the former NBA MVP, and it’s more than understandable. After years of being seemingly on the edge of a title win, the Rockets put pretty much everything on the line so they could come out on top this season.
But in the end, none of it was enough to get any closer than they’ve been these past few years.
And in a game where so much was on the line, it’s a shame the Rockets didn’t play with a little more life.
If Game 5 on Saturday is really the end of their season, you can probably expect some pretty big changes moving forward.