The Golden State Warriors looked to have the top overall seed in the Western Conference locked up, but things have changed drastically in recent weeks. The Warriors have struggled to win games, and they look like they are bored and waiting for the playoffs to start. Houston is the hottest team in the NBA at this moment, winning nine straight games. The Rockets have a shot at catching the Warriors by the end of the season, but will no doubt need to win this game. Golden State has lost all three games to the Rockets this season, and Houston will try to complete the season sweep on Wednesday night.
Golden State has gone just 2-4 in their last six games, and they are fading back to the pack in the Western Conference. The Warriors still come in with a record of 45-21 but lead the Denver Nuggets by just 1.5 games atop the Western Conference. Golden State has struggled on the road of late, and are just 21-11 away from home this season. The recent nine-game winning streak by the Houston Rockets has them in third place in the Western Conference with an overall record of 42-25. Houston has a commanding four-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs atop the Southwest Division. The Rockets are -2.0 over the Warriors on Wednesday night.
Harden Continues To Carry Rockets
Even though the 30 point game streak is over for James Harden, he is still putting up monster numbers for the Rockets. Harden is leading the NBA with 36.2 points per game this season and is likely headed to his second straight Most Valuable Player Award. The Warriors have plenty of defenders to throw at Harden, but he has the offensive ability and skills to still put up a ton of points. Having point guard Chris Paul back on the floor gives Harden a break from always handling the ball. Paul has dished out 8.2 assists per game this season and knows how to set his teammates up for great shots.
The Rockets have been extremely successful since center Clint Capela returned to the lineup after the All-Star Break. Capela is having the best year of his career, pouring is averaging 16.8 points per game, while also grabbing 12.5 rebounds per contest. He should have a field day against a Warriors team that doesn’t have a real post threat. The Rockets still struggle on the defensive end of the floor, but they have plenty of offense to win games.
Warriors Defense Letting Them Down
Speaking of poor defense, the Warriors don’t seem to be interested in that end of the floor at all. Golden State is allowing 112.3 points per night, which is in the bottom third of all NBA teams. The Warriors will likely turn up the heat on defense in the postseason, but they haven’t shown the ability or desire to stop anyone of late. If Golden State doesn’t focus on Wednesday night, Harden might go off for 50 points.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are both pouring in more than 27 points per game to lead the Warriors offense. Even though the Warriors have been struggling of late, their offense is still putting up 118.2 points per game to lead the league. Golden State is still leading the league with 29.2 assists per night, but there still appears to be some chemistry issues.
Houston Sweeps Season Series With Warriors
The Houston Rockets have been on a mission to get revenge on the Golden State Warriors all season long, and they have been great against them in the head-to-head matchups. The Rockets are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA this season, and they should pick apart the Warriors defense. Golden State will be great in the NBA playoffs, but they aren’t very interested right now. Bet the Houston Rockets -2.0 over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.