Road Warriors? Golden State Favored Despite Houston's Home-Court Advantage

Road Warriors? Golden State Favored Despite Houston's Home-Court Advantage

Road Warriors? Golden State Favored Despite Houston's Home-Court Advantage

Golden State averages 17.7 points per game from Cuts and 14.8 points per game from Off Screens. They opened with a 5-game series win over the eighth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves and followed that up with 5-game win over the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz. Harden wilted in last year's playoffs after having to carry the Rockets offense. If the line holds, it will be only the seventh time this season Golden State has been an underdog.

These two teams met three times this season, with Houston winning two of the three meetings.

In Texas, Chris Paul scored 41 points as Houston made sure of their place in the Conference Finals. They beat Oklahoma City in six games to reach the Western Conference semifinals, where they lost 4-1 to the Houston Rockets. Can the Warriors play tighter defense like they did against the Spurs against the Rockets or will they find themselves in another up and down the floor type of series here?

David Griffin put together the last roster that beat the Warriors in the postseason. The Warriors have been good at the charity stripe, cashing in 81.6 percent of their chances so far. Golden State also needs to keep on dominating the third quarter. But it's Paul who would take over down the stretch, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter alone. Kevin Durant is averaging 28 points and eight rebounds while Stephen Curry is averaging 24.5 points and 3.5 assists. Curry and Paul can go blow for blow while Harden and Klay Thompson do the same, and these games are going to be won around the perimeter. Opposite that are the Warriors, who only attempted the 17th most in the league on the season, making the eighth most while having the most efficient 3-point shooting team (39 percent) in the entire National Basketball Association. The Pelicans shaved the lead to seven points with two minutes left on a basket by Davis before Draymond Green's turnaround fadeaway moments later. The Houston Rockets front office did a really good job surrounding Paul with great shooters and defensive role players. Houston set a franchise record with 65 wins in the regular season, went 2-1 against the Warriors in games that were hyped at the time though seem meaningless now, and has the likely MVP in James Harden. After splitting the first two games on home court, Houston took both games on the road in Utah to take a commanding 3-1 series lead with Game 5 back in Houston.

Paul, a nine-time All-Star in his first season with Houston after an offseason trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, also had 10 assists and seven rebounds.

James Harden got off to a great start to the season by making four 3-pointers en route to 27 points.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey addressed that need by adding P.J. Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in free agency.

Both teams are healthy for this one, which is something that didn't always happen in the regular season. "What'd he say? Yeah, you've got to play the game now", Green said with a laugh. Playing at home, give the Rockets a slim edge here. Whether that's based on the Warriors' pedigree from the past three years and the experience gained from it or something else, it's a little surprising. The Rockets won the final matchup of the regular season. At one point during the season, they clearly missed miss his presence and the Jazz were in danger of falling out of the playoff race in January.

The Houston series may have played out differently has Rubio been able to play.

"You can't just make that many shots in a row".

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