The NBA’s Western Conference Finals will come down to the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors. The best-of-seven series gets underway on Thursday, May 21 with the Warriors having the home-court advantage and being the solid favorites with the bookmakers. The Rockets booked their ticket to the series after beating the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games in the second round after trailing three games to one, while the Warriors took care of the Memphis Grizzlies in six. The Warriors had swept the New Orleans Pelicans in four straight in the opening round while the Rockets were busy ousting the Dallas Mavericks in five.
Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets NBA Playoff Betting Preview – bet365 lists the Rockets as the decided underdogs to win this series at 23/4 while the Warriors are 2/17
The Warriors went 67-15 during the regular season to earn the number one seed in the West and their strong defense and outside shooting in the playoffs makes them a tough team to beat. The Warriors haven’t changed their style in the postseason as they’re still relying on three-point shots to succeed, and have done quite well at it. Golden State is averaging 29.9 three-point attempts per game so far in the playoffs after averaging 27 an outing during the regular season. They may have enjoyed a better shooting percentage during the season, but they’re still getting the job done in May.
The Rockets concluded the regular season with a record of 56-26 to take the second seed in the conference and will be relying on James Harden to raise his game in this series. He struggled at times in the second round against the Clippers and will need to be at his best against the league’s top team. Dwight Howard will also be a key player for the Rockets. Houston knows how tough the Warriors can be as they lost all four outings against them during the regular season. In addition, Golden State won those four contests by an average of 13 points a game.
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Golden State has plenty of depth to handle Houston with the likes of MVP Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, Curry, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson. The Warriors possess the best defense in the NBA under head coach Steve Kerr and combined with their efficient offense will prove to be a tough nut for the Rockets to crack. This will be Golden State’s first appearance in the Western Conference Finals since 1976 and fans are anxious to see the matchup between the league’s current MVP Curry and runner-up James Harden. In addition, this series will showcase the talents of two of the NBA’s top best defensive centers in Andrew Bogut and Howard.
This should be an entertaining series since both clubs play at a pretty quick pace and don’t mind shooting as often as possible from the three-point range. The key matchups should also be entertaining and interesting, but Rockets fans should realize there was a reason the Warriors were the best team in the league this season. Look for Golden State to emerge victorious after six games at the most and book a spot in the NBA Finals against either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Atlanta Hawks.