Darren Yuvan (@Darren Yuvan)
The Rockets come in playing some good ball after taking out the Utah Jazz in 5 games, while the Golden State Warriors might be more vulnerable right now than at any point over the last several seasons. That doesn’t mean this isn’t going to be a knockdown drag out. It is. But the Rockets won the season series 3-1 for a reason, and that’s because they’re built to beat these Warriors. I think we see that play out this playoff series. They’re still Golden State, however, and with Kevin Durant playing great right now, that always makes the Dubs difficult, but in my mind, Golden State are the underdogs here. The Rockets have been waiting for this day for a year now. They’re not going to blow it. You’re going to see several statement games from James Harden. And you know Chris Paul is ready. Houston in 6.
Xiane ( @xiane1 )
If you’ve read this blog before, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it, and I, are Houston Rockets partisans. No apologies are made for this, and none are necessary. When it comes to the playoffs, the path for the most Rockets success within a credible context is usually the focus. There’s a path to victory for the Rockets against Golden State.
The Rockets have had more success against Golden State than any other team in the past two seasons. Golden State escaped a likely defeat last year (as so often happens) when Chris Paul was injured. It’s reasonable to believe that with Chris Paul the Rockets win the series.
Much of the national focus on Houston this season dwells on their losses from last season, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute (who effectively did not play against Golden State). In the context of Golden State, then, it is fair to say the loss was in practice only Trevor Ariza. The additions are Austin Rivers, Danuel House, Kenneth Faried, Iman Shumpert and Gary Clark. It is possible to make a case that the Rockets, in fact, have more, rather than fewer, options. The Rockets can reasonably claim to be stronger overall.
There’s still no real defense for Golden State’s best player, Kevin Durant, but no one has one. But the Rockets can do more, and might be stronger, in the matchups where they were already strong, while not especially weaker elsewhere.
With modest confidence, Rockets in six.
Coty Davis (@CotyDavis_24)
Despite winning the regular season series 3-1, it is still hard for me to be convince that the Rockets can defeat the Warriors four times in a playoff series. Sure, Houston may have the league’s MVP on their side in James Harden, but the Warriors have the best player in the world, Kevin Durant.
Entering Game 1, no player in the league is playing better basketball than Durant. After the Warriors blew a 31-point lead in their previous series, the 6-11 forward has averaged 41.5 points per game, which includes a 50-point performance to close out the Clippers in Game 6. However, similar to Los Angeles, I do not believe Houston has the defensive personnel to defend KD, and this may hurt the Rockets as the series extend to six or seven games.
Yet, for the Rockets to come out the series victorious, it’s going to be important for their bench to play at a high level. For the first time since 2014, the Warriors’ second unit is nowhere near deep as they once were, and the Rockets must attack their most vulnerable area. With faith as small as a mustard seed, Rockets in seven.
Armin Khansari (@ak2themax)
Yo, these other TDS dudes are crazy.
The Golden State Warriors are better than the Houston Rockets. Like, a lot better.
The Dubs have spent all year being bored and waiting for this. They didn’t fully flip the switch during their first round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, but after Kevin Durant’s 50-point explosion, you had better believe that the switch will be stuck in the “on” position through June.
Getting to this point should be a consolation for the Rockets. When the team was 11-14, we were comparing this team to the 2015-16 squad that underwhelmed to the tune of 41-41 and a first-round exit. The fact that the Rockets tied for the third-best record in the West and were only kept out of the second seed by a Paul George three and a crazy Denver Nuggets run on the final day of the season should be something we look back on with pride.
The Utah Jazz were a perfect opponent for the Rockets, yet Houston struggled in Games 3-5. I want to believe in Houston, but that would mean not believing in the Warriors, which is impossible. They are too good. They have too much talent. They have homecourt advantage. And Scott Foster and Tony Brothers are going to have a say in this series if the Rockets put any fear at all into Golden State.
This is not Houston’s year. Their best bet is to hope Kevin Durant leaves this summer. Then Houston can make a run at the title. But right now? Zero chance.
My head says the Warriors win this in a sweep. And unfortunately, my heart only thinks they win a single game. Golden State in five.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Rockets with brooms
Rockets in 6
Rockets in 7
Dubs in 5
Dubs in 6
Dubs in 7
Mavs in 3, baby! It’s the only way to salvation