Chances are, when the MVP returns to play against the Rockets this afternoon in Houston for Game 4, the Warriors will return to their destructive ways and tear the Rockets apart. I repeat: the Rockets have only beaten a Curry-led Warriors team once in their last 12 attempts.
But in Game 3, the Rockets looked to have figured something out. Dwight Howard played his ass off, James Harden had room to drive, dish and shoot, and the boards belonged to the Rockets. It was their most complete three quarters they've played against the Warriors since Game 4 last year.
Obviously, the Rockets' defensive game plan must change with the greatest shooter in NBA history back on the court. But hopefully the fire with which they played remains, especially in front of a likely more engaged home crowd (now that we know this won't be a sweep).
Two teams play in every game, and the Warriors will undoubtedly be better and more focused in Game 4. Chances are, Curry looks fully healthy and drops 30-plus, Draymond Green has himself a redemption game and the Rockets lose. But, after Thursday night, I am far more encouraged about the hometown team. They freaking won a game — if you tell me that doesn't make this series a little worth it, you have no heart — and they looked great doing it.
Hopefully the game encourages J.B. Bickerstaff to play Michael Beasley more over Corey Brewer, to trust Donatas Motiejunas at the 5, and, well he's just not going to play K.J. McDaniels so we might as well stop hoping for it.
Game 3 gave me back a little hope as a Rockets fan. Not that we can win the series, because we just have to be realistic about these things, but that I can actually enjoy large stretches of the remaining games of this Rockets team before it's blown up in the offseason and damn near unrecognizable next year. So at least we've got that.
Tip is at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC