The series we have all been waiting for is finally here! After losing to the Golden State Warriors last year in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets have looked forward to this match-up all year. They have prepared for this all season and now have the chance to redeem themselves and eliminate the Warriors from the playoffs and dethrone them.
Can the Rockets do it though is the question. James Harden has been playing basketball on a level we haven’t seen before and looks unstoppable. He even beat the Warriors in the regular season at the buzzer. Talk about clutch. This series may be the best one in the playoffs and everyone will be watching to see what happens.
Harden isn’t the only one that is balling this year. His former teammate Kevin Durant is also unstoppable and we will see two polarizing players clash. The Rockets are an isolation team that also shoots a lot of threes. Normally, this strategy wouldn’t work but Harden and Chris Paul and great isolation players and opposing teams have to help and that opens the three ball. The Warriors will try to counter this but they can’t without choosing one or the other.
What will happen is what happened last year in the series; the Rockets will isolate Stephen Curry and attack him a lot. That worked for the Rockets and gave them a 3-2 lead but it is a simple strategy the Warriors have countered before. We will mostly see the same series but the Rockets will hope for a different outcome this time.
If the Rockets didn’t miss 27 straight threes, they may have won 27 games. But that is the problem with the three ball. It is a difficult shot and doesn’t always go in. Playoff basketball makes players even more tired and that contributes to more misses. What happened to the Rockets could have happened to any team in the playoffs.
The good news is that the Rockets only played five games in the playoffs and are well rested. On the other side, the Warriors will be playing with only 36 hours of rest. The Rockets have the advantage in Game 1 so that game won’t give us much to go on. Game 2 is where the series will start and for the most part, this series will go to seven games.
I want to say the Warriors will win because they have too much star power but the Rockets have looked better than the Warriors this year. If the Rockets do upset the Warriors, I won’t be too shocked but I still think the Warriors are the best team. Having three players that can score 50 in a game is a luxury no other team has.
Game One starts today and everybody is excited. The Rockets will hope to dethrone the Rockets and the Warriors will try to prove once again that they are unstoppable. This is what playoff basketball is about.