5 reasons why Houston can't beat Golden State in the Playoffs
The Houston Rockets might have won the battle (regular season series 2-1) but here's why they can't win the war.
In a primetime game this past Saturday, the Houston Rockets wrapped up their season series (2-1) against the Golden State Warriors, with a 116-108 win at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The earlier matchups between the teams were on opening night (Oct. 17) of the 2017-18 season and on Jan. 4, 2018.
Unfortunately, each of these games has been marred by some injury or player absence, which doesn't allow us to have any major takeaways from any one particular game. However, now that the season series is over, and although it might not be enough of a sample size (3 games), it's all we got to predict what could/would happen if both these teams meet in the Western Conference Finals, which seems highly likely right now.
Here are 5 reasons why the Rockets will not be able to beat the defending champions, come Playoff time:
#5 No injury concerns & repeated off-games in the Playoffs
You can make a case for the Warriors dropping the game on opening night because of their championship celebration. It's sounds like an excuse but champions have historically dropped the game on opening night while still having long postseasons or even a championships.
Although they were beaten, they played the fourth quarter of that close game without one of their All-Stars - Draymond Green. Not to mention, the three rotation players - Nick Young, Jordan Bell, and Omri Casspi - that they were still trying to gel with.
In game 2 of the season series, on Jan. 4, both teams played without huge stars in Kevin Durant and James Harden respectively. That game, the Splash Brothers - Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson - carried the Warriors to a win by combining for 57 points.
Having said that, it was the duo's struggles in game 3 (the one this past Saturday) that might have cost the Warriors the game. Together they shot 9-of-31 (29.03%) from the field and Curry missed a wide open Durant twice in the last two minutes when they were only down by three.
Point to be noted here - players of Curry and Thompson's quality aren't going to have a lot of such off-shooting nights in the Playoffs, let alone four times in seven games. Green's absence on opening night turned out to be a rest issues, something that won't be a problem in the postseason.