The Warriors face the Rockets in semi’s
THE SANTA CLARA
May 21, 2015
After a comeback in which the Golden State Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies by an average of 16 points in the final three games of the series, the team advanced to their first Western Conference Finals in over forty years.
Of the four teams remaining, Las Vegas has the Warriors with a near 60 percent chance at winning the title, compared to the Rocket’s 10 percent.
Although the Warriors are overwhelming favorites against to the Rockets, the clash still boasts several intriguing matchups and headlines that will make the series a must-see.
For starters, the MVP and MVP runner-up (Stephen Curry and James Harden) will be squaring off in the playoffs for just the eighth time in league history.
Harden almost single-handedly led the Rockets to a 56-26 record while posting an impressive 27.4 PPG/5.7 RPG/7.0 APG statline.
But Curry has flourished under new head coach Steve Kerr’s offense this season, leading the league in offensive plus/minus per 100 possessions, all while maintaining his characteristic shooting ways.
The guard still beat his own record for three-pointers made in a season with a total of 286, generating a lethal 44.3 percent average.
As history has shown, the league’s most prestigious player award does not always translate to his team’s success.
The MVP has lost a playoff series twice before when facing his runner up. Magic Johnson defeated MVP Larry Bird in the 1985 NBA Championship and MVP Karl Malone was dethroned by the legendary Michael Jordan during the 1997 Championship.
In both of these cases though, the runner up won the series due to contributions from his team.
In this case, the stronger team is undoubtedly Golden State.
The fact that perhaps the only player on the Rockets who can guard Curry (Patrick Beverly) is out for the series does not bode well for Houston.
The two teams have already met throughout the regular season with the Warriors winning all four times.
If Golden State can play with ease and composure as they have shown, they should have no problem advancing to their first NBA Championship since 1975.
Contact Nick Redfield at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.