Well, the Houston Rockets have earned home-court advantage in the Western Conference finals with 65 wins in the regular season, toppling the Golden State Warriors from the #1 spot on the playoff run. But as we all know, the NBA playoffs are often a different story, and there is still question as to whether Houston has made up enough ground on the defending world champions. This is something we are going to see starting on Monday when these teams engage in their best-of-seven series for the right to play for the world title. Remember that when you sign up with VietBet, you can get a great free play bonus, along with reduced juice and Live Betting Ultra, which enables you to place real-life and time wagers while these games are in progress.
2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Odds – Rockets vs Warriors
In the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Odds posted on this series at VietBet, Golden State is actually the team that is favored, despite having only three game scheduled on its home floor:
Golden State Warriors -190
Houston Rockets +165
In Monday’s Game 1 (9:05 PM ET), Houston is favored by 1.5 points, with a total of 224 points.
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2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Odds: CJ’s Take on Rockets vs Warriors
The Rockets are nothing if not bold. And they made an off-season acquisition designed to take them to another level. Chris Paul has long been one of the NBA’s best point guards, and they injected him into a situation where James Harden was actually the player who was dominant with the ball. However, these two have co-existed quite well, and in fact, Paul has said he’s had more fun with the Rockets been in any time in his career. That’s a good omen, although perhaps it partly a statement as to what the atmosphere was with the Los Angeles Clippers. Regardless, Paul offers one of the league’s better defenders in the backcourt, as well as a player who can explode on the offensive end, even when Harden isn’t having one of his better games. In Game 5 against Utah, Paul had 41 points, for example.
Throughout his career, coach Mike D’Antoni has been known as a guy who has put high-powered offenses on the floor, with defense a secondary consideration. Maybe that’s a bad rap, but we can tell you that there is much more of a defensive atmosphere around the Rockets these days. Paul, for instance, is an NBA All-Defensive team selection, and Clint Capela, the starting center, is one of the league’s best shot-blockers. Trevor Ariza did a really good job on Kevin Durant when these teams met this season, holding him to just 28.6% shooting when they were matched up head-to-head, and then there are role players like P.J. Tucker and Luke Mbah a Moute. Yes, Houston, which was sixth in the league in Defensive Rating, is not to be found wanting in that area.
A couple of questions you may want to take a look at going into this series – whether Paul might be too exhausted in defending Steph Curry to put out a lot of effort on the offensive end. The Rockets certainly don’t want to put Eric Gordon, a defensive liability, on Curry. And we will see what kind of shot selection Harein will exhibit. Since he is such a dominator of the ball, he has been known to take some bad shots, and that’s never going to be good for the Houston offense. But what is more of a concern is that Klay Thompson, the Golden State shooting guard, who is also talented as a defender, can cover him without sending him to the free-throw line a disproportionate amount of the time.
By design, Houston takes fewer mid-range shots than any team in the league. And it’s not even close. Their emphasis is on shooting layups and three-pointers. In fact, they are the only team in the NBA who took more than half their shots from beyond the arc. They shot only 36.2% for the season from long-range, so they have to make these triples count against the Warriors. If they don’t, this becomes a long series for them.
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