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A Review of Games 2 and 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals

May 28, 2015
NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals

NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals

Games two and three of the NBA Western Conference finals left everyone a bit taken back. It was known who had the best team, even though Houston had to win three straight games over the Los Angeles Clippers to advance. It was also known that Golden State has the number one player in the country. The Houston Rockets have the number two player in the country. Yes the Rockets proved they can win three straight games, but Harden and his beard will have to join forces again to make online mobile news.

sbnation.comAndrew Bogut keeps making a big impact without putting up big numbers

It cannot be said that the Houston Rockets didn’t give Golden State a challenge in game two. In fact, the game was a “sit on your edge experience” particularly at the end. James Harden scored 38 points and still was irritated at the loss. With 10 rebounds and 9 assists to add, Harden was on fire. . Dwight Howard was impressive with 19 points and 17 rebounds and rightfully held his own as a one-legged wonder (fighting a knee injury) and contributor.

Shooting 18 out of 52, including 4 out of 17 3-pointers, without Harden and Howard, the rest of the Rockets created some pretty upsetting sports score news. Houston missed an opportunity to put take advantage of Golden States unimpressive defense. Apart from Andrew Bogut, the defense definitely had holes in it. Curry had six turnovers and Draymond Green had four turnovers from too much unsafe passing.

Andrew Bogut had a stellar performance for the Golden State offense. His efforts to the Warrior’s offense were as one-sided as Harden’s and Howard’s were to the Rocket’s offense. When Bogut was in the paint, Houston was shooting about 58%, but while he was on the bench Houston’s average shot up to 73%. He took advantage of Howard’s lack of range and Rockets inability to shoot far from the paint.

sbnation.comJames Harden went ice cold against Warriors’ stingy defense

If you ever doubted Curry couldn’t “handle his business”, then shame on you and every punter who had the nerve to wager against him. This year’s Most Valuable Player in the NBA has sunk 59 three-pointers in the playoffs. Just for clarity, Curry has also scored at least five or more 3-point shots in each of the last five games. He is now the only player besides Michael Jordan to score five 3-pointers, 40 points and shoot 55% from the field.

Golden State committed a serious beating on the Houston team. The 115-80 loss has put the Rockets in a treacherous situation where they will be one more loss from elimination. The Warriors outscored the Rockets 58-42 on the inside beating them in rebounds 60-39. Five of the warriors had double scoring figures as they had a 25-point lead at halftime. Anyone betting for the warriors would’ve been irked with these live sports results.

The largest question involves Harden who was virtually absent during game 3. Scoring a measly 15 points, three rebounds and four assists, only the body of Harden came out, while his spirit stayed home. It will become tough for Harden for the rest of the series, because Harrison Barnes was able to contain Harden, unlike Klay Thompson who had the job the last two games.

bleacherreport.comSteph Curry’s Heroics Fueling Warriors Dominance in Western Conference Finals

Harden explained the frustrations of the Rocket’s team and the 99-98 loss. “It’s tough, you know how hard we fought both these games, still we’re giving up small things too many easy layups too many easy threes that we’re having to climb back this is a really good team we’re playing so when you’re giving those buckets you put yourself in a situation where you look at those plays way back in the game and you want them back.”

When the Warriors sensed Harden’s shut down, they acted like there was blood in the water and rotated their defense on Harden one by one. This magnificent defense was accomplished without any double teams on Harden. Golden State took advantage of a cold Rockets team. Howard’s 14 points and 14 rebounds deserve honorable mention. No team has ever won a conference final when down by three.

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A Preview of the NBA Western Conference Finals

May 19, 2015
NBA Western Conference Finals 2015

Let the big game begin!

Although it’s their first trip back to the Western Conference Finals in 18 years, Houston made their presence known. James Harden led with 31 points while Dwight Howard had double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds. Against a LA Clippers team, expected to win the series, the Rockets won three straight games making U.S gambling news.

The Golden State Warriors have had a terrific season and strolled into the playoffs until they faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semifinals. Falling in game two, the warriors saw themselves tied at 1-1 going into the third game; which they lost again. Golden State returned to their “kick ass mode” and won the last three games.

thestar.com: NBA conference finals preview: The best vs. the best

It’s difficult to overlook the feat that the Rockets pulled off. To lose three straight games, with the third in horrendous fashion, and be able to turn it around 15 minutes left while down by 19 in the next game. Coach Kevin McHale said that “It just tells us we are capable of winning three games in a row.” In a seven game series, it’s a crucial skill to win at least one game or maybe two away from home.

MVP runner up Harden spoke of their comeback. “It’s easy to get down 19 on the road and then just give in and say ‘maybe next year’, but I think the injuries throughout the entire year, it’s kind of made us fight through adversity no matter what. So we’ve always been down a man. It’s always finding a way to get through, finding a way to fight it.” There’s no better way to prove that than with a 40-15 run at the end of game.

Although Harden has averaged 26.3 points throughout the playoffs, he can be slowed down by Draymond Green of the Warriors. Josh Smith may have to step in and use his size to make plays on offense. With point guard Patrick Beverly out because of injury, Trevor Ariza will have a job guarding Curry for seven games. Waging on individual player performance, within the rules of U.S gambling laws, might be more entertaining than laying your money on the overall win.

sports.yahoo.com: BDL’s 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Golden State Warriors vs. Houston

The ultimate question concerning the Houston Rockets is whether or not they can maintain the mindset they had leaving game seven of their series with LA. Golden State was considered the best team in the league going into the playoffs. They’ve done almost everything they’re expected to do. The Rockets were on fire. Let’s hope it doesn’t get smothered before tonight.

Golden State Warriors are a fast paced team typical of the west coast. Of course they will face an equally quick Houston team. Stephen Curry is able to win the MVP award in front of Harden, but it was well earned by giving it 110% every night. It also helped that Curry had a healthy team unlike Harden who had to make up for Howard and most of team at one point or another.

Golden State Warriors, equipped with two gunmen like Curry and Klay Thomspon, shoot the ball often. The Memphis Grizzlies were able to neutralize a bit of that though with their tough defense particularly in the paint. Curry’s onslaught in game six made the difference. If the Rockets can hold the Warriors defensively, a hot Harden and Howard could put a number on them.

cnnphilippines.com: NBA Western Conference Finals: The battle between Steph Curry and James Harden

 

The Warrior’s Center Andrew Bogut isn’t terribly mobile. If he gets in trouble it could force his teammates to help him which may slow their tempo and give the Rockets offense a carrot to grab for. The bench for both sides has a degree of depth to it. With veterans Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguaodala on the bench, the Warriors will have backups for defense.

Pablo Prigioni of Houston is coming off a good last game. Draymond Green is a force and has worked hard to prove that he is one of the leading contributors to the Warriors success. With his scoring and defensive ability, he will give Josh Smith of Houston some challenge. Hopefully he won’t sacrifice his defense of Green in order to try to put more points on the board. It could very well end up being the other way around.

Both of these teams will be moving at a pretty good pace throughout the game which will make for some pretty exciting ball play. Unfortunately their pace could make it a bit difficult in making the spreads that the betting punters out there might be waging on. Be careful how you predict this one. I’m sure this game will be exciting to all viewers and punters in the U.S.

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