Warriors +2, 3.5 units (1 to 5 unit scale).
Nothing the Rockets did in Game 1 made me think they can beat the Warriors in this series or even come close. I gave the Rockets a good amount of credit thinking they could at least force a Game 6 in this series but the Warriors made a statement in Game 1. Harden and the Rockets came out swinging in the first half and all the Warriors did was handle two huge runs, make a comeback, and come out to kill in the 2nd half. The amount of isolation sets the Rockets had and always have with Harden and Chris Paul is ridiculous at this point and the fact that THAT was their game-plan against the champs after 5 days of prep is insane. Not to mention the Rockets organization saying that they’re “obsessed with how to beat the Warriors” and that they’re “built to beat the Warriors.” I don’t see it. Mike D’Antoni has done nothing in his career to convince me he can match Steve Kerr adjustment for adjustment. Prior to this season the guy had won a total of 1 playoff round the last 10 years.
The Rockets are talented but they don’t have the “team” factor the Warriors have. CP3 was pulled in this year and now is expected to just beat the Warriors in him and Harden’s first year together in his first season ever in the Western Conference Finals.
This is a must-win for the Rockets at home and honestly a tough spot to fade a team. They CAN’T go down 2-0 heading into Golden State and yet it’s not as unrealistic as you might think. The Raptors couldn’t go down 2-0 heading into Cleveland and look what happened there. This series feels similar to that one in the sense that the Raptors got in their own heads because they knew the Cavs owned them. The Rockets lack of a punch in the 2nd half of Game 1 sums up the Warriors’ dominance of them the last 4 years.
The Warriors must have watched the Celtics go up 2-0 last night and want to keep up with their pace heading into the Finals. The Rockets just had the biggest game the city of Houston has had in years and yet they just stopped fighting hard when the Warriors made a run in the 3rd quarter. Maybe it’s a little ambitious to expect any team to go up 2-0 on the road against the Rockets but the Warriors’ energy in Game 1 was on another level and they look like they’re ready to keep swinging. Curry had just 18 points in Game 1 while Harden dropped 41 and yet the Warriors still won by 13. Until someone can guard Durant I’ll keep backing this team.
I have 3 units locked on the Warriors -140 to win it all from two weeks ago and I’m doubling down here. Warriors +2.