Golden State Warriors (37-9) at Houston Rockets (31-12)
We won our last pick, two days ago, after taking yesterday off, when we backed the Orlando Magic on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We got 10.5-points and this game almost ended in a shocking upset as the Cavs are officially a mess. Orlando is probably the worst team in the NBA, and they went into Cleveland and gave the Cavs all they could handle as they held a 103-102 lead with only 11 seconds left in the game.
The ball hog known as Isaiah Thomas managed to get a sweetheart of a home court foul call on a drive in the lane that looked clean to me. Thomas managed to sink both free throws and the Cavs snuck out with a 104-103 win. After the game, it was all long faces and hung heads for Cleveland as they know they should be better than this.
Since Isaiah Thomas has joined the team, the Cavaliers have been an unmitigated disaster. They need to either get Thomas to take a big step back and let Lebron run the show, or they need to ship Thomas out of town. What they are doing now is not getting the job done, and I will look to fade them as much as possible until they figure things out with this new rotation.
Today I will break down a matchup of two teams that are actual title contenders this season, the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
The Golden State Warriors travel to Houston to play the Rockets Saturday night in what could very well be a preview of the Western Conference Finals this year. The Warriors sit atop the Pacific Division standings, while the Rockets occupy the top line of the Southwest Division. Entering play tonight these are the two top seeds in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Warriors own the league’s best record at 37-9, and they have won eight out of their last nine games. Houston has the league’s third-best record right behind the Warriors and the Celtics, and look poised for a deep run in the playoffs with newcomer Chris Paul finally getting healthy. The Warriors are -3.5-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 234.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM PST from the Toyota Center.
Everyone knew that the Golden State Warriors were going to be the best team in the NBA this season. They have managed to keep their core group of players together and have the first Big-4 in league history. Even with Steph Curry fighting bad ankles all season long, this team is still steamrolling the competition. This is especially true as of late as they have won 22 out of their last 25 games.
When you break down the stats for this team, you can easily see why they are leading the league in wins. They are the highest scoring team in the NBA, they are tops in field goal percentage, free throw shooting, assists, and three-point percentage. They do everything exceptionally well on the offensive side of the ball, and there isn’t a team in the league that can hang with them when they play their A game.
The Houston Rockets are the league’s second-highest scoring team and are finally hitting their stride now that the newly acquired Chris Paul has gotten fully healthy. This has been a bit of a streaky team this season. In December they reeled off eight straight wins and looked like legit title contenders.
They followed that winning streak up with five straight losses to the likes of the dreadful LA Lakers, the Clippers, and OKC, all teams that were either below .500 or just above it at the time. The Rockets have been much better at home than on the road and are owners of a 16-6 home record. Their last home loss? To this Golden State team on January 4th, 114-124.
As I mentioned above these teams just played this same game about two weeks ago on the Rockets home court. The Warriors used a big second half to pull away for the double-digit road win. The big difference between that game and this one? Both teams played without their best player. The Warriors were without Kevin Durant, and the Rockets played without James Harden. It will be very interesting to see how these teams match up today with their entire lineups on the court.
I just think the Golden State Warriors are something special. They started the season a little slow, and that was for the best, as the stress of trying to win 70+ games really wore on them in the past, and they realized that it’s how many titles you win, and not how many regular season games you win.
This year they eased into the season and are still going to easily capture the number one seed in the West. The stress of greatness isn’t there, and since this team started to really turn it on, they have been close to unbeatable. The Warriors one loss so far in 2018? They played without Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and it still took a 50-point explosion from Lou Williams for them to lose.
I see the Warriors coming out fired up on what is the last game of a long and successful road trip. They should have their best starting lineup in place, and if they play their best game, they will win and cover easily.
Give me the Golden State Warriors as small road favorites tonight from Houston, laying -3.5-points.