The Golden State Warriors will take on the Houston Rockets in game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors currently lead the series 1-0, after knocking off the Rockets 119-106 in game 1. The Rockets are the top seed in the Western Conference, while the Warriors come in as the 2 seed.
Game 2 will be an almost must-win situation for the Rockets as they can’t afford to fall behind 2-0 before heading to Golden State. The Warriors sent a message in game 1, and hope to steal another road game in Houston. This should be an excellent game, and series to watch. The Warriors are +1.5 over the Rockets in game 2.
Warriors Defense Does the Job
Many people believed that this series would come down to which team could stop the other, and in game 1 it was the Warriors who did the job. Golden State employed their “Hampton’s Five” lineup for much of the game which allowed the Warriors to switch at every position on defense. The Warriors will try to keep making things difficult for James Harden and Chris Paul.
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors in game 1, scoring 37 points in the win. The Rockets tried using different defenders on Durant, but none of them were very successful. The Warriors were able to prevail even with Stephen Curry having an off night in game 1. If Curry starts hitting shots along with Durant’s driving ability, the Warriors will be too much for the Rockets.
Rockets’ Defense Comes Up Short
Houston has been a phenomenal offensive team all season long, but their defense has yet to catch up. In game 1, Houston had too many mental lapses on defense that lead to easy baskets for the Warriors. The Rockets allowed the Warriors to shoot 52.5% from the field, a number that must improve heading into game 2.
MVP front-runner, James Harden, did all he could to win game 1 by scoring 41 points for the Rockets. Chris Paul chipped in 23 points and 11 rebounds, but the Rockets didn’t get much contribution from the rest of the team. It was clear in game 1 that Harden and Paul can’t beat the Warriors by themselves. If Houston is going to even the series, the Rockets must get contributions from its entire roster.
Houston Has a Problem
Houston is too good to not have a major response in game 2, but have to be doubting themselves a bit after game 1. The Warriors were able to turn up the pressure and intensity in the second half, and the Rockets looked fatigued. The Rockets are more than capable on the offensive end, but it is yet to be seen whether they can stop the Warriors consistently.
Golden State was able to steal home court advantage in this series, but now have their sights set on a 2-0 series lead. Curry had a bad shooting night in game 2, but the Warriors still prevailed relatively easily. Look for Curry to bounce back in game 2, and the Warriors offense to take off. Houston can’t stop the Warriors, and Golden State will prove once again why they are the champs. Bet the Golden State Warriors +1.5 over the Houston Rockets in game 2.
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