After finishing the season with the best record in the NBA at 65-17, the Houston Rockets set their sights firmly on dethroning the Golden State Warriors and ending their dominance in the Western Conference.
They successfully secured the number one seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
But after just one game in their blockbuster conference finals showdown with the defending champions, that advantage has been relinquished.
The Warriors came to Houston for game one and laid down a marker as they claimed a 119-106 win.
They are now the overwhelming favourites to advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.
But despite many people writing them off after just one game, the Rockets haven't lost confidence.
Center Clint Capela is certainly still upbeat despite their setback in game one and doubled down on his bold claim from earlier in the year when he said they are better than the Warriors.
When asked if he still believes they are superior, Capela said: "I believe we have a team capable of winning a championship. So if I think that we can win a championship, then yes I think we are better."
But the big man has urged head coach Mike D'Antoni to deploy a different playing style if they are to overcome the men from the Bay Area.
Throughout their opening game, they ran many iso plays for James Harden and this became too predictable and easy for the Warriors to defend.
There was little ball movement and player movement as they largely stood and watched either Harden or Chris Paul dominate the ball and make their own plays.
Capela benefited from a couple of lob passes but the likes of Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon saw little of the ball.
“We’re just out here waiting on (Harden and Chris Paul) to make the decisions,” Capela said, per Sam Amick of USA Today. “This is what they do. This is what they’ve been doing all season long, so it’s something that is harder to do right now.
"Maybe we’re going to have to be more aware on the weak side, maybe (use) flares to get guys open, to get more movement, so all the focus won’t be on the guys on the weak side.”
They will definitely have to make adjustments and it'll be up to D'Antoni to find the right formula in their next outing.
Wednesday night's game two has now quickly turned into the biggest game of the season for the Rockets as another defeat at home would effectively end their hopes of advancing.
Listen HERE to episode two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein.
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