Game 2s are a tough beast. In the age of instant analysis, the most recent game is the only game that matters. James Harden looked unstoppable in Game 1 so he looks unstoppable in the series. Clint Capela outplayed Karl-Anthony Towns so now we expect Capela to at least keep up with KAT for the rest of the series.
That leads to “We can be better” narratives from the losing team. Of course the Timberwolves feel like they can improve. They know they’re going to get more out of KAT. He’s going to take more than 9 shots for sure, right?
However, that’s going to take away from Derrick Rose, who shot 50% on 14 shots and was a force off the bench for Minnesota. Or even if those shots don’t come out of Rose’s totals (or another Timberwolves player), that’s at least going to detract from Minny’s 3-point attempts. And that plays right into Houston’s hands.
For Houston, the narrative is twofold: Chris Paul cannot play worse than he did in Game 1, and Houston’s supporting cast cannot shoot much worse from deep than they did in Game 1.
Or maybe, Chris Paul really is a playoff choker. Or maybe, Houston’s playoff shooting woes are a constant. Last season, the Rockets shot 36% from deep on the season but only 33% during the playoffs. James Harden and Ryan Anderson each shot below that, and they combined for almost half of Houston’s attempts.
The point is, there cannot really be a playoff narrative until the season ends. You can expect both teams to make adjustments to try to play to their strengths. Minnesota will try to get KAT more involved and Houston will...hope to shoot better from deep. We’ll see how it goes.
Tip-off is at 8:30pm CT on TNT