Despite the fact that the Warriors eliminated Harden's Houston Rockets with a 118-113 victory in Game 6 on Friday night, Harden claimed he knows what the Rockets need to do in the offseason in order to overcome the Warriors in the postseason -- he just refused to go into detail about it during the postgame press conference.
"I know what we need to do. I know exactly what we need to do," Harden said after the loss. "We'll figure it out this summer."
Harden was later asked to get a little more specific, and refused to elaborate.
The Rockets were eliminated by the Warriors for the fourth time in the past five seasons -- all squads that Harden has been a part of. While last year's Game 7 loss had to be very demoralizing from the mere standpoint that Houston missed an NBA-record 27 straight 3-pointers after finishing the year as the best 3-point shooting team in the league, this one was just as bad.
It had been ruled before Game 6 that Kevin Durant would miss the remainder of the series due to a right calf strain injury. The Rockets were playing Game 6 at home as 7.5-point favorites. It was the same exact narrative as last season when Chris Paul suffered an injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, only for the Rockets to blow a 3-2 series lead, but this time the Warriors were the ones without their superstar.
In other words, it was time for the Rockets' redemption. Everything that they had spent the past year dwelling upon, they could have amended by winning Games 6 and 7.
Except they couldn't even push it to a Game 7 despite Stephen Curry scoring a total of zero points in the first half.
It's unclear exactly what Harden has in mind, but at this point, the Rockets are going to have to really recharge and reload if they want any chance at eventually beating the Warriors. Most importantly -- they're going to have to overcome yet another mental hurdle of being unable to seal the deal against a Warriors squad that was missing their best player.