Latest posts by Raphael Haynes (see all)
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4) Houston Rockets
1) Golden State Warriors
It’s been two games and it hasn’t been pretty watching this series of the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors. Golden State has looked decent, at least in the second game while Houston hasn’t looked like the regular season team we saw. Who will adjust?
Keys to the game
The Warriors have shown why they are the champs keeping their composure in the midst of turnovers and sloppy play. Speaking of sloppy play, the Rockets are at home now so the Warriors can’t be careless with the ball. When they run the offense through Draymond Green, usually the Warriors unbeatable.
Golden State played outstanding defense in Game 2 against Houston. When they crowd James Harden, it seems to frustrate him. Also if they continue to fight through screens in the pick-and-roll, Houston won’t be able to dictate the game on the offensive end.
Nothing has seemed to go right for the Rockets in the first two games. With the home crowd being loud and uplifting in Game 3, they have to still stay focused and not get too emotional taking bad shots. When the role players get going, the Rockets are at their best at home.
When you think of Golden State, you don’t think about doubling because of their weapons. Houston should come up with a scheme to double Kevin Durant when Stephen Curry goes to the bench. This will throw them for a loop but they have to make sure their rotations and communication are on point.
The x-factor for the Warriors is Stephen Curry. It’s kind of hard to sell this but Curry hasn’t really been Curry during the series so far. It’s easy to get away with this at home but on the road, the Warriors don’t have a chance if he doesn’t score 25 points or more.
The x-factor for the Rockets is P.J. Tucker. Tucker had a decent game in the last matchup but his presence hasn’t been felt. Finding ways to get him the corner three-pointer can boost his play and confidence.
Prediction- Houston can’t afford to go down 3-0. This is a must win. If Harden wants to win MVP, this is the time you prove it. Houston wins in a blowout.