It took the Golden State Warriors (73-9) the whole season to seal home court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs for the second straight season. On Saturday, the Houston Rockets (41-41) have an opportunity to steal home court in 48 minutes of action. The Western Conference playoffs are a few hours away from starting.
The game tips-off at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. It’s a little early for a west coast team with such a high profile resume, but the Warriors are used to getting disrespected. Below, a link to the live stream will also be available.
All the talk of the Warriors and their quest for 73 wins is over now. They achieved the unattainable to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ record of (72-10). All that’s left is consecutive runs to the NBA title. Without it, the Warriors’ historic regular season will be looked upon in a different light.
According to CBS Sports, the Warriors are 13 point favorites in Game 1 of the Western conference first round match up. The Warriors won all three games against the Rockets this season by an average score of 116-104. Despite the regular season dominance, the Warriors did not have their best shooting games against the Rockets. In two of the wins, they only shot 35 percent from 3-point range. However, they caught fire, making 47.8 percent of their threes in a four point win.
Stephen Curry lead the NBA in scoring at 30.1 points per game. He broke his own 3-point record by making 402 in a single season. Even though the Warriors won the NBA title last year, there are rumblings that Curry can’t lead them to another title. Once again, he won’t be alone.
The other half of the ‘Splash Brothers’ Klay Thompson is capable of having a breakout game at any moment. Thompson is averaging 22.1 points per game, but it will be his defensive tenacity against James Harden that will tell the story. Both players a vying to become the best shooting guard in the NBA. It should be an intriguing contest in Game 1.
During their five game Western Conference Finals match up, the Warriors reached the 100-point plateau four times. With the Rockets giving up 106.4 points per game, the Warriors expect to score a lot in the first round.
Draymond Green remains an x-factor for the Warriors. The versatile forward can do it all on both ends of the floor. Likely, the Rockets will force Green to make decisions with the ball. If his 3-point shot is rolling, it will put the Rockets in a precarious situation. Green is capable of exploding for a triple double every time he steps on the floor.
The X-factor for the Rockets is Michael Beasley. It may sound funny, but Beasley is a talented scorer and he gives the Rockets a chance to compete off the bench. In 20 games with Houston, Beasley averaged 12.8 points nightly. He also averaged 18 minutes of action with the Rockets.
The Warriors want to get off to a fast start. They can’t end the series in one game, but they can put the fear in the Rockets with a dominating Game 1 performance.
No. 8 Houston Rockets vs. No. 1 Golden State Warriors
Where: Oracle Arena
When: 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN