Road. Home. It’s starting to seem like no matter where Golden State plays a basketball game at, they seem to have the advantage. Playing at home is not even really an advantage for teams playing the Warriors anymore. The Houston crowd got into the game early, and remained loud throughout most of the game. It didn’t really seem to matter much. At this point, I can’t see how any team in the NBA will beat the Golden State Warriors in a seven game series.
This was a very good and competitive game. The final score may tell a different story, but this was a pretty good game. One of the most competitive games I’ve seen in the NBA playoffs this year……..for about three quarters and some change. The Rockets went blow for blow with the defending champs early on, but Golden State has a way of wearing a team down and ultimately beating them into submission. That’s exactly what they did to the Rockets last night. Houston was in a good position going into the half. The game was tied up. But Golden State wore them down in the 3rd quarter. Mostly because Houston got very little help from their bench, while Golden State managed to get the most out of their bench players while the starters rested. Even then, there was always at least one starter on the floor with the bench players. To make a long story short, the Warriors are probably too deep for anyone to beat them in a seven game series. I don’t doubt that a team can get one game against the Warriors. Hell, I predict the Rockets will get two. But in the long run, the Warriors have too many players that can do too many things. A team that leans on one or two players as heavily as the Rockets lean on Chris Paul and James Harden seem to have very little chance against this team. Harden was clearly winded as it got later and later into the game. Harden did a lot of that to himself though. Too much holding the ball and trying to make every basket scored go through him. It’s time to use Chris Paul for what you got him for….the primary ball handler. That saves Harden energy if he can just spot up and shoot and not have to worry about a defender putting a body on him as he brings the ball up court, then dribbles until he finds a shot that he likes, then drives to the bucket where he will be met and pounded by the Warriors bigs. He’s using up too much energy. Energy he will need late in the game.
Harden led the way for Houston with 41 pts. Chris Paul added 23 and 11 ast. Eric Gordon had 15 and Clint Capela had 12 pts. That was pretty much it for the home team last night. The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant who dropped in 37 pts. Klay Thompson getting hot is always a recipe for disaster for opposing teams. That happened last night. Klay Thompson found his shot and added 28 pts. Steph Curry had 18 pts and 8ast. And Nick “Swaggy P.” Young added 9 points off the bench.
Harden has to find a way to do his damage without needing to have the ball in his hands and dribbling around for 22 seconds. If Harden continues to try to do everything himself, this will be a short series. I expect Houston to bounce back in game-2 though. Heading into Golden State down 0-2 will be like walking the Green Mile. DEAD TEAM WALKING