No surprise, The Golden State Warriors are once again in the Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors are a team that arguably has the best collection of talent in the history of the NBA. For the last three years, they have had their way with the West, making it to three straight NBA Finals, but now there is a new contender on the block that is hungry to show the Warriors that they can beat them in a best of seven series.
That team is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are led by their fantastic backcourt of their sniper and unorthodox guard, James Harden, and veteran, Chris Paul. The Rockets were able to beat the Warriors twice in the regular season, but we all know the Warriors are a different team in the playoffs.
The Warriors can get on a run at any point in time, and a spark can come from anyone on their team, including players off the bench like Shaun Livingston. The question the Rockets now face is how do they beat a team that has been deemed unbeatable by most NBA analyst.
The answer is easier said than done.
The first thing the Rockets must do is score and shoot the ball well. The warriors are going to get their buckets and go on runs. Houston must be able to match that in order to have a chance. The next thing the Rockets must do is play great defense and take advantage of those small and very infrequently droughts the warriors go through. Too many teams fall into the trap of trying to trade baskets with the warriors and end up getting burn when the warriors go on a 15 point run.
The most important thing the Rockets must do is control the boards, and that is why Clint Capella is going to be so important in this series. You have to limit the warrior’s second chance baskets.
This series is shaping up to be a great one. Game 1 is set to tipoff at 8 p.m. central on Monday.
By Justin Smith