The least surprising Western Conference Finals are upon us, as the Golden State Warriors face off against the Houston Rockets.
Although hey the fact that the Rockets have home court is a shock at least.
Both teams got here in the exact same way – with a couple of gentlemans sweeps. And now they face off in what should be some incredible games.
Here are our thoughts on this series:
Vin: This is it. This is what we have been waiting all season for. From the beginning of the year we knew that the Houston Rockets were going to make a run at the Golden State Warriors for West supremacy and we’ve finally gotten to the showdown. A lot of people think this is the Finals and based on the rosters of these two teams against the two teams in the East, it’s easy to see why. In this league, you can never look ahead though and need to concentrate on this match-up.
The Rockets had the best record during the regular season, but this is what they built their team for. They didn’t build it to beat the Timberwolves or the Jazz. They built it with this series in mind. To have a team that can defend and shoot enough threes to hopefully tilt the math in their favor. I think they fell short, but when you are jacking up so many threes anything can happen.
I am thinking about the guard match-ups when it comes to this series. Chris Paul was a Stephen Curry killer for a couple of seasons as he simply bullied him around the court, but Curry has figured that out mostly and can outplay him. His injury may play a factor, but defending Curry on one side of the court will almost definitely have adverse effects on Paul’s offense.
Then you have James Harden and Klay Thompson. Obvioulsy, James Harden is the otherworldly offensive player. A big part of Harden’s game is getting to the line and shooting free throws. He led the league in free throws and free throw attempts this season. Here’s the thing, during the regular season Klay Thompson had 0 fouls on Harden. None. That’s crazy.
People have been building up this series all season, but a big part of that is they simply want some competition for the Warriors. I don’t think there is any competition for the Warriors. They are the best team in this league by a longshot and I think they’ll really play at a higher level in this series to flex on the Rockets. I don’t think this will be the long series that everyone wants, I think the Warriors are going to win in a minimum of six games. That’s why I’m taking the series spread of Warriors -1.5 (+115).
Harden and Paul have a long history of choking. I don’t think they’ll do that here and I expect them to play great basketball. They don’t deserve that title anymore, but they also aren’t winning this.
Graeme: For me it’s a case of thinking of the games the teams have played during the regular season, and how I felt about them.
Watching the Warriors games they always felt special. I said a few times that it was like watching the Globetrotters at times. I never got that feeling with the Rockets.
The Warriors are just the better team. Their small-ball unit is untouchable and although the Rockets do come close they just don’t compare and that will be the difference. The experience the Warriors have will be a big factor. The Rockets nerves will get to them – this is their final and the biggest one for them.
Experience is the big one for me and I like the Warriors to deal with a loss a lot better than the Rockets can.
I’m also going with Warriors -1.5.