The NBA is set up with one game on the board for Saturday night. The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets will continue their heated series with a matchup on May 4. These two teams have created a bit of a rivalry and it has become an exciting series because of it. This game is set to start at around 8:30 PM Eastern time on ABC.
Golden State finished the regular season once again on top of the Western Conference with a record of 57-25. The Warriors were in second place for a large portion of the season, but made a nice push at the end to take over the Denver Nuggets. Golden State met up with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round and were able to move on after a tough six-game series. The Warriors will look to push the Rockets to the brink of elimination with a Game 3 win.
The Rockets had an up and down season in the regular season, but were able to finish in the fourth spot in the Western Conference with a record of 53-29. Houston met up with the Utah Jazz in the first round and were able to make quick work in five games. The Rockets dropped the two games of this series and will look to get a big win as the series shifts to Houston on Saturday night.
The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets have been competing near the top of the Western Conference in the last couple season, which has helped lead to a bit of a rivalry. Both teams have been playing with a lot of emotion in this series, which has made it very exciting to watch. In the regular season these two teams met up four times, where the Rockets were able to take a 3-1 series win. Houston will look for a way to repeat that success with a Game 3 win.
Game 1 of this series was hosted by Golden State on April 28. James Harden put up a strong performance as he dropped 35 points, while Eric Gordan had 27 points. The Warriors were able to hold off Houston off the back of Kevin Durant’s 35 points. Stephen Curry had another 18 points, while Golden State’s starting lineup was able to combine for 94 points. The Warriors were able to finish with a 104-100 win at home.
Game 2 of this series stayed in Golden State on April 30. James Harden put up a 26 point night, while Chris Paul had 18 points. The Rockets starting lineup combined for 89 points, but it was not enough to top the Warriors. Kevin Durant had 29 points and Klay Thompson had 21 points. Stephen Curry added another 20 points, while Golden State’s starting lineup had a combined 101 points. The Warriors pulled away with a 115-109 win.
The first two games in Golden State were both tight, which makes me believe that the Rockets have a good chance to pull off the win as the series shifts to Houston. The Rockets need a little more scoring from their depth players if they want to pull off the win, which is more that possible. I like the lower seed going back home down 2-0 as they are able to pull off the win more than not.
Three Point Shooting
Golden State finished out the regular season as a top three-point shooting and defending team. The Warriors were able to make around 38.5 percent of their shots from behind the arc in the regular season, while holding their opponents to a 34.7 percent three-point percentage. Golden State’s three-point shots have gone in 37.8 percent from deep in the playoffs.
The Rockets finished the regular season with a 35.6 percent three-point percentage. Houston had a really good defensive set from deep, holding their opponents to a three-point percentage of 34 percent, which was second best in the NBA. In the playoffs so far, the Rockets have been able to make around 36.2 percent of their shots from deep.
Both of these teams are really solid three-point shooting teams, with the edge going in favor the Warriors. The Rockets have been the better three-point defending team though. Houston has done well shooting at home this season and they will look for that to give them the edge on Saturday night.
Kevin Durant has been on a tear throughout the playoffs so far. Durant has been averaging 34.5 points per game in the playoffs. Stephen Curry has been doing well dropping an average of 23.5 points per game. Klay Thompson has averaged 17.5 points, while Draymond Green is averaging 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8 assists per game. Andre Iguodala has averaged 11.5 points per game.
James Harden has put up an average of 29 points and 7 assists per game throughout this playoff run. Chris Paul is averaging around 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5 assists per game from the Point Guard spot. Eric Gordan has averaged around 17 points per game. P.J. Tucker is averaging around 10.5 points, while Clint Capela has averaged around 10.5 points and 10 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
These two teams match up well in their starting lineups, as both teams have a lot of scoring talent in the offense. The Rockets need more contribution from Clint Capela at the starting Center spot, especially since Golden State is without DeMarcus Cousins and plays without a true Center in the lineup a lot. Houston will also need to find a way to slow down Durant, which is much easier said than done.
Game 3 shifts back to Houston and I really like the Rockets chances to take their first win of the playoff series. Houston played well against the Warriors in the regular season and match up well with them in this series as well. The Rockets were able to keep pace with Golden State in the first two games of the series on the road, which should give them some confidence coming back home.
BetOnline has Houston listed as a -3.5 against the spread. With the Rockets at home and having a good chance to pull off the victory, I believe this is a good spread. If Houston finds themselves up late, but not covering, they should go to the line a few times to try and cover the spread. This gives a lot of value to the Rockets in this game.