5 reasons why the Houston Rockets will beat the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs
The Houston Rockets lead the NBA in win percentage and total wins this season with an enviable 53-14 record. All the doubts expressed by sceptics over whether the acquisition of Chris Paul will affect Harden's rhythm have been emphatically silenced.
When Clint Capela (who's headed towards NBA stardom before too long), Chris Paul and James Harden start together for the Rockets, they have a whopping 36-2 record in those games.
It is easy to dismiss Mike D'Antoni, Chris Paul, and James Harden are regular season machines who falter during the playoffs, but in this article, we look at the evidence from this regular season and examine why the Rockets are a legitimate threat to beat the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs on the way to a Finals run.
#5 Interior dominance
There are no two ways about this: Golden State are short on players who can guard the likes of Clint Capela and Nene. These are two players with the ability to give the Warriors a real walloping in the paint.
Capela's agility, athleticism and ability to finish in traffic gives nightmares to opponent centers on a nightly basis. While he is not playing high minutes in the regular season, he still leads the league in field goal percentage at 65.5%, and his free throw shooting has improved adequately for the Warriors to not resort to Hack-a-Shaq tactics against him.
Nene, despite his advancing age and slowing athleticism, still has the ability to punish most NBA centers on the low block. He is still performing at a career-average level when we look at his per-36 splits for this season, though admittedly he is still playing a career-low 14.7 minutes per game.
With future Hall of Fame guards in Chris Paul and James Harden setting up these two, expect the Rockets to dominate the paint area in scoring and snag enough rebounds to give headaches to Steve Kerr and his coaching staff in a possible matchup.