Rockets-Warriors: It All Comes Down to This
The Houston Rockets may have thought for a while that they were going to use their re-configured rotation to their advantage in Game 6 in Oakland, but in the end they lost a big lead and found himself swallowed up by the Golden State Warriors. That forces a dramatic Game 7 that is going to be held on their own home floor, with action beginning at 9:05 PM ET at the Toyota Center in Houston. Remember that if you are a VietBet customer, you can place wagers in real-time after the game begins, courtesy of Live Betting Ultra.
Odds for Western Conference Finals – Game 7
In the Odds for Western Conference Finals that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Golden State is the clear favorite on the road:
Golden State Warriors -6.5
Houston Rockets +6.5
Over 208 points -110
Under 208 points -110
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Odds for Western Conference Finals: CJ’s Take on Game 7
Of course, the Rockets went into that game without their star point guard, Chris Paul, who suffered a hamstring injury, and that forced them to start Eric Gordon at the point guard position. Gordon is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, and one of the strengths of the Houston team was that he can come off the bench and provide instant offense. But he found himself handling the ball a little bit more than usual in this one, and all this worked for a while. But in the end, the Rockets just made too many mistakes, and Golden State was right there to capitalize on them. After getting off to a 39-22 first-quarter lead, Houston, unbelievably, scored just 47 points the rest of the way. Golden State had 64 in the second half, and the result was a 29-point victory for the Warriors.
The status of Paul isn’t going to be known until the pre-game warm-ups, most likely. He has been getting treatment night and day, and coach Mike D’Antoni certainly hopes that will be ready for action. But he has to have a game plan in place in case he isn’t. Paul, before he got injured, was this team’s best second-half scorer in this Western Conference finals series.
D’Antoni had been using seven men in the rotation in the two games leading up to this one, and essentially he wanted to continue doing that. Gerlad Green was the guy who got the most time off the bench (about 26-1/2 minutes), but this isn’t really where the Rockets’ problems lie. Trevor Ariza says that “fatigue is never a factor in the playoffs,” although we have heard people like LeBron James talk about how that has affected them.
They just had their heart stolen from them by the Warriors, who turned it on in the third quarter like they often do. Golden State has outscored Houston by a total of 50 points in the third period throughout this series, and in Game 6 it was particularly brutal, as they held a 33-16 advantage.
And James Harden, who is the primary ball-handler even when Paul is in the lineup, turned it over nine times. Meanwhile, Golden State, which had not been exhibiting the best in the way of ball movement, had 26 assists and they hope they have broken out of that syndrome where they had started to rely too much on isolation, particularly with Kevin Durant, who has shot only 23 of 63 in the last three games.
The Warriors have their own injury concern going into this one, because there is doubt about the status of Andre Iguodala, a proven playoff performer who is still ailing with that bone bruise in his knee. He has now missed three games in a row, and he is a component of the very lethal “Hamptons 5” lineup they like to put on the floor. The feeling is that he is more likely to see time than Paul, and that could make a difference. So might the Warriors’ playoff experience, which means quite a bit.
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