Houston Rockets: 3 takeaways from the Western Conference Finals

Ruben Holloway
May 30, 2018

Golden State will now play James' Cleveland Cavaliers once again for a title.

Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love remains in concussion protocol and his status for Game 1 of the NBA Finals is still unclear.

Van Gundy, pride of Alhambra High School in Martinez, and Jackson, who preceded Steve Kerr as coach of the Warriors, are leaning toward a Warriors victory in four games - only because three games is mathematically impossible.

The Warriors are heavily favored, owing to Cleveland's thin roster and lack of support for LeBron James.

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They climbed out of huge holes in the last two games of the Western Conference finals to beat Houston, but may have to play in the first half the way they have after halftime if they hope to knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and repeat as champions. In fact, the Warriors are the biggest favorites in an NBA Finals for the last 16 years, according to data compiled by Sportsoddhistory.com.

Golden State has won two of their three meetings back in 2015 and 2017, while Cleveland pulled one back in 2016 with their historic comeback from down 1-3 to claim the city's first-ever National Basketball Association championship. If All-Star Kevin Love is cleared from his concussion in time to play, Cleveland can surround James with unsafe perimeter shooters such as himself, Kyle Korver, George Hill and JR Smith, forcing the Warriors to play James 1-on-1 - and possibly without one of their top defenders in Andre Iguodala if he can't return from his leg injury. He's going up against a great team with FOUR superb players.

The Golden State Warriors looked extremely vulnerable in their Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets.

Love had been averaging 13.9 points per game with 10 rebounds in the postseason this year.

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Nosek clinched it with an empty-netter with 2.7 seconds remaining. "I didn't make the play, I was a little late, but whatever". Either is a fun result, and if the whole series is as bonkers as the first period, we're in for a hell of a ride.

Still, we weren't quite prepared for just how hugely Golden State would favored.

On the other, the best player of this era and maybe any era.

The Texas-based outfit secured the number one seed in the west for the first time in franchise history and won a record 65 games in the regular season. In his nine trips to the Finals, he's been the underdog seven times.

"I'm still learning, still growing and figuring things out", Durant said.

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This news comes after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that sources say Paul's chance of a return is "less likely than likely". Simply put, the Rockets can't turn the ball over almost as much in Game 7 if they are to win this game.

"I'm not going to say zero percent chance", Jackson said on a conference call. Those teams were much more evenly matched with stacked squads of talent.

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