Too many people were drinking the Rockets regular season kool-aid. They ignored all the logical reasons that would suggest this team would fail & doubled down on random x-factors such as “Harden will go off in at least 2–3 games, the supporting cast will drain 3s in at least 1–2 games, the Spurs can’t handle a small team, etc.”.
The better team won. Bottom line. Harden pulled a total no-show, just like he has in past years, but it ultimately means very little in regards to his standing in the league. This wasn’t exactly the most shocking outcome imaginable (although I wouldn’t have thought a 40 point victory over the rockets would be possible with Kawhi & Parker out).