Warriors vs Rockets – NBA Game for May 14th
Here we go! This is what we’ve been waiting for all season long, the two best teams battling it out on the court to see which team goes to the NBA Finals. The #1 seed Houston Rockets will host the #2 seed Golden State Warriors for the first two games of the series. It marks the first time since 2014 that the Warriors are the lower seed in a playoff series. That year, they lost in the first round to the Clippers. This year, they’re fully embracing not having home-court advantage and starting off on the road.
In fact, since the playoff loss to the Clippers, the Warriors have gone 20-12 on the road in the playoffs and have posted a 55-17 overall playoff record. They’re going to need all of that success in Game 1 as Houston has literally built their entire team with one goal in mind – to beat the Golden State Warriors.
For this game, the Rockets are favored to win. However, Golden State still holds the slight edge in being the favorite for the series. The Warriors are 8-2 in the playoffs, having dispatched the Pelicans and the Spurs. They’ve gone 2-2 on the road in these playoffs. However, they’ve played their two worst games in the playoffs on the road and that’s cause for concern. In round 1, they lost 103-90 at San Antonio. In round 2, they lost 119-100 at New Orleans. So, they have shown a lapse in focus while on the road. Can Houston capitalize on that inconsistency?
Houston has proven beatable at home in the playoffs. The Utah Jazz took game 2 at Houston last round 116 to 108. Additionally, Minnesota almost upset Houston at home in the opening round, falling short at the end of the game. So, if the Warriors are dialed in, they have a shot at beating the Rockets on the road.
Most of the hype will be on two matchups: Steph Curry vs Chris Paul and James Harden vs Klay Thompson. For the playoffs, Curry is averaging 24.5 ppg and 3.5 apg compared to Paul’s 21.8 ppg and 6.4 apg. I feel that it’s important to note how great Paul played in the last two games against Utah. He led the Rockets to victories as he averaged 34 ppg, 8 apg, and 9.5 rpg. He’s definitely ready for this series.
Harden is this year’s MVP and he is expected to lead the Rockets past the Warriors in the Conference Finals. For the playoffs, Harden is averaging 28.5 ppg and 7.4 apg. His counterpart, Klay Thompson has averaged 21.2 ppg and 4.7 rpg. There have been a few games where Thompson has disappeared. Right now, I would give the slight advantage to the Rockets in their backcourt over the Warriors.
But, the one player who should make a difference, and ultimately lead the Warriors to the NBA Finals, is Kevin Durant who is averaging 28 ppg, 8 rpg, and 5 apg for the playoffs. He’s been a steady force on the floor and dominated the Pelicans in Game 4 of their series with 38 points. The Rockets don’t have anyone that can stop Durant or even cancel him out statistically. Houston’s Clint Capela has played tremendously well in the playoffs, but the Warriors still have Iguodala and Green as key contributors.
My only dilemma here is trying to figure out which road game the Warriors will win. Will they take Game 1 or Game 2? With that said, I’m going with the Under for today’s game.
The Under is 10-1 in the Rockets last 11 games against the Pacific Division and 12-6 in their last 18 games. The Under has gone 5-2 in the Warriors last 7 games and 4-1 in their last 5 road games. In head-to-head meetings, the Under is 7-3 over their last 10 contests and 5-1 between these two teams in Houston.
Over the last 10 head-to-head games, the Warriors have averaged 115.6 ppg and the Rockets have averaged 106.8 ppg. For this postseason, the Warriors have scored 110.43 ppg and have given up 101.6 ppg. The Rockets have scored 109.6 ppg and have given up 100.1 ppg.
Bet: Under 225 total points (-110)
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