The Warriors and Rockets are facing off in the playoffs once again but this time it isn’t to see who goes to the finals. The stakes may be lower but don’t expect any less competition between the two teams. Golden State is the obvious favorite. They are the favorite practically every time they take the floor. But last year they did go seven games against the Rockets in a conference finals series that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
There are a few things to consider, going into this series. While Golden State may be the favorite, the scales could be tipped towards Houston in a few areas. The first advantage that Houston has is that their first round series went only five games while the Warriors had to play six to finish off the Clippers. Fatigue can play a huge factor toward the end of the season so the Rockets have done well making haste in the first round.
But Harden, the Rockets main scoring option, didn’t look great throughout the entire first round. He was a bit up and down, letting the Jazz get to him and disrupt his step-back-three game. While he faltered midway through the series, he got his juju back by the end, going nine of 14 from the field in the final game.
The big issue for the Warriors may be the fact the DeMarcus Cousins is injured and unlikely to come back. This means that Andrew Bogut has to step it up big time for the Warriors down low. Bogut is a key player in the Warriors defense. We know that Golden State can deliver on the offensive side, but they could be bested if they fall apart on defense.
With these two teams, anything can happen. Let’s hope for another seven game series that comes down to the wire.