Everyone was excited for the playoff matchup between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, and Game 1 did not disappoint. Many fans believe that the winner of this series will be the eventual NBA champion, and this series should be one for the ages. These two teams met in the Western Conference Finals a season ago, and the Warriors were able to sneak past the Rockets in an epic seven-game series. Golden State got off to a good start in this series, winning the series opener by a score of 104-100.
Golden State got a tough test from the Los Angeles Clippers in round one of the playoffs, but they didn’t appear to be exhausted in the series opener. The Warriors are dealing with a ton of injury issues at the moment, but they still have one of the best rosters in the entire league. Houston made quick work of the Utah Jazz in the first round, winning that series in five games. The Rockets looked well-rested in the series opener but need to find a way to win a game on the road to steal away home-court advantage from the Warriors. Golden State is a -5.5 point favorite over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the series.
Warriors Need to Shoot Better
The Golden State Warriors don’t shoot poorly very often, but that was the case in Game 1 of the series. Golden State made just seven three-pointers in the series opener and shot just 31 percent as a team. Stephen Curry really struggled to get going in Game 1, shooting just 3-10 from deep. Fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson poured in just 13 points in 41 minutes of play. The Warriors know that they were lucky to survive a bad shooting night in the series opener, but that won’t work consistently against the Rockets.
Kevin Durant might be in his final season with the Warriors, but he is trying to deliver another NBA title before leaving. Durant poured in a team-high 35 points in the series opener and was terrific in the second half. The former MVP also went 12-15 from the free-throw line and put a ton of pressure on the Houston defense. Golden State scored 117.7 points during the regular season, but they need everyone to do their part in Game 2.
Harden Doing All He Can
Reigning MVP James Harden has been putting up huge numbers all season long, and he tried to carry his team in the series opener. Harden poured in 35 points but did take 28 shots to get his points. The Warriors will throw extra defenders his way, but Harden continues to find a way to get to the free-throw line. Harden went 13-14 from the free-throw line in Game 1, though he probably should have earned a few more trips to the line.
Eric Gordon poured in 27 points in support of Harden in the first game of the series, but the Rockets need more from Chris Paul. The point guard scored just 17 points in Game 1 and wasn’t very aggressive on offense. Paul attempted just nine shots before being ejected with his second technical late in the fourth quarter. Houston has been playing great defense in the playoffs, but they are going to have to score to beat the Warriors.
Warriors Take 2-0 Series Lead
Houston had a great chance to steal Game 1 from the Warriors, but they couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch. The Rockets can’t expect Curry and Thompson to have another rough shooting night in Game 2. Look for the Warriors to play much better in coming away with a convincing victory in Game 2. Bet the Golden State Warriors -5.5 over the Houston Rockets.