HOUSTON — When it comes to Golden State Warriors forward and four-time champion Draymond Green, NBA fans know one thing.
The 33-year-old forward is going to speak his mind, and he shares his true feelings about nearly any situation. That is why it was no surprise Green was very candid after his team broke an 11-game road losing streak by defeating the Rockets on Monday, .
“You get in a certain situation and it’s very easy to build bad habits,” Green said in his postgame press conference. “But habits are hard to break. You build bad habits, and it kind of becomes who you are. It’s important to try to play the right way.”
Houston has shown glimpses of playing the right way, as it finished its six-game homestand with a 3-3 record. That stretch included a three-game winning streak. The Rockets also gained a glance into the future. Rookies Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason performed very well against the defending champions.
Smith finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds while filling in at center, where Alperen Sengun was out sick. With 12 rebounds, Eason had his own double-double, and his 21 points were a career high.
Once Golden State’s Green returned to the locker room, he raved about how Houston’s rookies played the game.
“They want to be good,” Green told RocketsWire about Smith and Eason. “They play the game the right way and go about the business of playing good basketball. That is very hard to find in today’s NBA. A lot of these players want what comes from the game without putting in what it takes to be successful. Those two are always looking to improve, and as rookies, that is a good attitude to have.”
Green’s teammate, Klay Thompson, also praised the play of the two rookies. He was particularly impressed by Smith, who matched himself against Thompson on numerous occasions.
“How old is he, 20?,” Thompson asked. After being informed that Smith was only 19, he whistled and shook his head. “Damn. That ain’t the Houston Rockets I am used to playing against.”
“The sky is the limit for him,” Thompson said of Smith. “I wasn’t even in the league at 19. I was a freshman in college. He has a nice-looking jump shot. He is a very talented young player, and if he keeps working, he is going to be with this franchise as long as he wants.”
Houston returned to action in Memphis on Wednesday night, its first stop on a five-game road trip.