While Game 3 in the Western Finals is very important, Tuesday’s confrontation will be critical to the loser on Sunday night. The storylines are unfolding and adjustments will decide what’s next.
Houston gave a pedestrian effort in the series opener. With the Rockets mentally ready for Game 2, they carved up Golden State’s defense for 127 points on 51.1 percent shooting accuracy. That was the poorest defensive effort by the Warriors, at least statistically, in five weeks when Utah sliced and diced them for 119 digits while shooting 53.3 percent on April 10th.
As bad as it looked, Golden State got a split and has a tremendous opportunity at home to take a 3-1 series lead in the next few days.
Not being into the all the superheroes movies, I would consider myself more of a Batman guy, with Swinging Johnson maybe Superman type – Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice – (I just saw the trailers).
With us, alternating picks here at SBR, for NBA picks I took Golden State for Game 3 with the NBA odds having the Warriors at -7.5. I’m sure Superman, sorry, Swinging Johnson was delighted to have the best team during the regular season catching that many points. But every superhero has a weakness and I’m convinced I just handed him a sack of kryptonite. Here’s what I mean.
The first two encounters were about energy and execution. Each team took a turn at and the other was not able to keep up on either level. I cannot think of a scenario where Golden State will be so nonchalant this time around. Not having the time to go over every one of the Warriors 94 box scores this season, I feel pretty comfortable in saying the starting five’s -118 plus/minus rating was or very close to the worst of the season.