Golden State played poorly for a few minutes right before the end of the first half, but that was about it against Houston in the series opener. What can the Rockets do to even up the series?
The Houston Rockets played 82 regular season games to gain home court advantage over the defending champion Golden State Warriors and in 48 minutes on a Monday night, it disappeared like the basketball falling thru the net of a Kevin Durant jump shot.
The positive takeaways for Houston were James Harden’s 41 points and Chris Paul’s 23, but Golden State has Durant (37 points), Klay Thompson (28) Steph Curry (18) and Draymond Green controlling the game (9 rebounds and 9 assists) leading his team with a +19 in plus/minus rating.
The NBA odds opened with Houston at -2, 224 and quicker than Swinging Johnson doing his Roberto Duran impression when taking me on for NBA picks in the playoffs (“No Mas”), the Rockets misfired with bettors and where quickly down to -1.
Kerr’s Early Game Plan Worked
While there was a lot of discussion about Houston’s three-point shooting being an issue with Trevor Ariza, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, P.J. Tucker and Ryan Anderson a combined 1-of-10 from behind the arc. That was not as large an issue as some thought.
Houston was 13-for-37 from deep, which is 35.1 percent. This season in all games, the Rockets are at 36.1 and averaged 15 made three’s. The six points would have helped coach Mike D’Antoni’s team (and Swinging Johnson), but it would not by the numbers changed the outcome.