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James Harden: 29-point loss to Thunder ‘was definitely good for us’

Apr 22, 2013, 6:26 PM EDT

A 120-91 loss to the Thunder in Game 1? No problem for the Rockets, says James Harden.

“Losing like this was definitely good for us,” Harden said. ”Now, we know how to play. It’s a lot of guys’ first time here, even in the playoffs.”

Call me crazy, but I think Game 1 was better for the Thunder, who need to win three of the next six to advance, as opposed to the Rockets, which now must win four of six.

I don’t begrudge Harden for taking an optimistic approach, and I could even get behind him – if we’re talking about the long-term.

The Rockets don’t have the depth and talent to beat the Thunder this season, but these losses could be for Houston in the long run. The Rockets have several young players with room to get much better, and a better understanding of playoff basketball’s level of play could push them to work harder in the offseason.

So, maybe that loss will be good for Houston – just not anytime soon.

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