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How To Watch Warriors vs. Rockets Game 1

How To Watch Warriors vs. Rockets Game 1

The 2018 NBA Conference Finals began last night with the opening game between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This, however, is not an ordinary season. Golden State undoubtedly has a sizeable advantage with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the starting lineup.

This will be the third playoff meeting between these two teams in the past four years, with the Warriors winning both previous meetings. From a qualitative perspective, though, his off-the-dribble burst wasn't quite what it is at his peak. Our analysts answer the pressing questions.

The victor of the best-of-seven series will be just one step away from being National Basketball Association champions. Golden State would lead 87-80 heading into the fourth quarter. The Warriors are listed as -185 favorites to win the series, according to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. If he were to get injured or tired to the point where he is no longer effective, the Rockets would fall apart and Lebron and Co. could snag Cleveland's second championship title.

Equally important: Houston must continue to be disciplined when it has the ball. As terrific as James Harden has been in the regular season-he's about to get his third top-two MVP finish in four years-he simply hasn't gotten the job done when it matters most. This has been a successful formula so far. The bad news, Rockets fans, is that Durant will be unstoppable this series. If they execute as they did for most of the first 2 quarters of the game, they might just push the Warriors to the limit in this series - though that is easier said than done given how the Dubs have not played even 6 games in a playoff series ever since acquiring Kevin Durant in 2016. But can he be his normal self against Golden State?

But in the two games he has played, there's evidence that the Warriors - especially Thompson - has had some impact on his effectiveness. "It'll be a rock fight, like Brad Stevens wants, but LeBron will ultimately impose his will", Forgrave said as sounded he spoke for his peers. "Obviously, they're an isolation team once everything shakes out so he'll play a big role this series staying in front of Harden and Paul and also protecting the rim". As Golden State hones their defense on James Harden, Paul and Capela, forwards Mbah a Moute and Tucker will be often left alone on the perimeter to shoot threes. "You can see it in the guys faces". Houston, though, has the (theoretical) ability to make him work harder than normal for his points. Against the Warriors, though, sending lots of double-teams his way is death. His prowess in that area was on full display in Houston's Game 5 win that eliminated the Timberwolves in the first round. They can bring any team in the league to its knees. Ariza has the experience and length to help contain Durant, and can also make teams pay from 3-point range.

The Celtics have been dealing with injuries all season long, but as the first two series have shown, Boston is doing just fine without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in it's lineup.

But now we've got the match-up many expected and hoped for. Houston's margin for error is slim, so a cold streak at the wrong time could be costly.

Simply slowing the game down isn't going to lead the Jazz to victory. After Game 1, many people feel this series is theirs to lose. But doesn't it seem like the Rockets really need to start this series on the right foot? Their regular season record, impressive though it would be for most of the league, was well below expectations due to injury and lack of effort more than anything.

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