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Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors Western Conference Finals Game 1 preview

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There are literally too many stories to discuss.

Chris Paul is finally in the Western Conference Finals. Mike D’Antoni returns to this stage for the first time since he coached the Seven Seconds or Less (should be “Fewer”) Phoenix Suns. Three years ago was the last time James Harden saw the conference finals, but bereft of Patrick Beverley’s presence to fluster Stephen Curry, Houston fell in five games. Daryl Morey built this team to specifically beat the Golden State Warriors. This series will be a referendum on just how many tools he gave this squad. Clint Capela once again gets to prove that he’s worthy of a max contract.

The Golden State Warriors aren’t nervous, and they probably shouldn’t be worried. After all, in their last six series they have lost three total games. Houston has to win four. Kevin Durant is looking to quiet more of his doubters, though ironically the more they win the more those same doubters will feel like they are in the right. Steph Curry can assert himself as the best guard in basketball if he outplays Harden and Paul.

We talked all offseason and regular season that the Warriors were “one injury away” from being vulnerable. Well, they aren’t injured. In fact, they are fully healthy and ready to take on their biggest test in two years.

Talk all season was about how this series would be the real NBA Finals and would be the Warriors’ only threat to winning their third title in four years. Now that we’ve reached this point, most pundits have flipped completely and are taking the Warriors in a rout.

Houston gets the “Nobody believes in us!” bump that Bill Simmons is always talking about. The Rockets are clearly the underdogs and most would probably consider winning two games a success.

It’s up to Houston prove everyone wrong.

Tip-off is at 8pm CT on TNT