INTERVIEW

DeAndre Hopkins discusses how close the Texans are to winning a championship

Composite photo by Jack Brame

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins and his mother Sabrina Greenlee caught up with The Main Event's Cody Stoots and Jake Asman from Radio Row in Miami. They talked about Sabrina's upcoming film "Sabrina" and Hopkins shared his thoughts on losing to the Chiefs, how close the Texans are to winning a championship, and more.

You can read the transcript below where Hopkins talks about the Texans' season or you can listen to the entire interview if you want to hear more about the upcoming movie.

On the Chiefs loss and playing through the injury (Rib/finger)

It's football. I knew, obviously going out there playing, being injured, it didn't matter to me. We had a lot to fight for. I'm pretty sure a lot of my other teammates were banged up also. It was a tough game. Really don't want to re-live it too much obviously (laughs). But Kansas City is a great team you can't take anything away from those guys. They beat us out fair and square. Obviously a great comeback by Patrick Mahomes and those guys but uh, you know, I'm pulling for them. Sammy Watkins is a fellow teammate of mine at Clemson University. Also like family to me. So I'm happy for them.

On the big lead and did they think they were going to the AFC title game?

Oh, man. No question. No question. Up 24 to nothing there's no question in your head we're going to the AFC title game. But obviously us beating ourselves, making mistakes, turnover, just little critical mistakes. But I think everyone went out there and played hard. I don't think anybody has any regrets.

On Deshaun Watson continuing to grow

That's what I love about Deshaun. He never feels like he arrived. Little things, even if he's faking a hand-off. Little stuff like that, that you wouldn't think a quarterback is hard on himself. Deshaun, he's his biggest critic. I don't expect him to feel like 'Oh, you know, we had a good year, let me not work on it' that's not Deshaun at all. He's a hard worker. I know he's going to come out next year and demand the most from us, his teammates, and also himself.

On if Bill O'Brien is overloaded with the new GM title

You know, it's not easy man. I'm pretty sure he has a lot on his plate, but he handles it pretty well. Being able to go out there and still coach a team at a competitive level the way we did and compete for almost a title man, it's not easy, he's human, but he does a great job handling it very well.

Could Bill actually be better at the GM job because he is the coach?

I'm not sure. I can't speak on that because I've never, honestly, I don't know how that works upstairs. What those guys go through, I'm pretty sure other GM's are pretty knowledgeable about football. But, I think it's definitely probably an advantage that he's coached before and you know actually been out there on the football field and knows exactly what's going on X's and O's wise. So I'm pretty sure that helps.

Are the Texans close to getting to an AFC Title game and ultimately a Super Bowl?

Oh, there's no question that we're close. Obviously, us being up 24 to nothing on a team playing for a Super Bowl, I don't think that's a question. But I think that everyone has to perform at their peak ability in those games. You know, beating ourselves will not help. Turnovers, little things like that. It's a players league. Players out there playing. So I think for us to get over that hump everyone has to take accountability for their own job.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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