Houston Rockets (64-30) at Golden State Warriors (75-17)
|Date & Time||Tuesday May 19, 2015, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Golden State Warriors -10 -- Over/Under: 219.5
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors kick off the Western Conference Finals with Game 1 tonight.
Every team goes through their challenges and struggles throughout the playoffs, but the Houston Rockets looked absolutely dead in the water after they fell behind 3-1 against the Clippers in the Conference Semifinals until they came back from a 19-point deficit late in Game 5 which changed the series completely. Against the Clippers, James Harden led the team with averages of 25.4 points and 8.1 assists while Dwight Howard averaged 17.6 points and 13.9 rebounds, but what made the Rockets special was the play of their supporting cast. Trevor Ariza averaged 16.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 three-pointers while players like Josh Smith and Jason Terry came up big in pivotal moments in the series. Unfortunately, Patrick Beverley missed out the entire playoffs and isn't expected to be able to return for this series which is a major loss for the Rockets.
Meanwhile, the Warriors had a much easier route to the Conference Finals, beating the Grizzlies 4-2 after falling behind 1-2 after three games. MVP Stephen Curry led the way with averages of 24.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.3 three-pointers per game, while his running buddy in Klay Thompson averaged 17.8 points and 2.5 threes per game. Draymond Green consistently stuffed the stat sheet with averages of 12.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists but the real strength of the Warriors is their depth and the contributions go all the way down the roster.
In ATS trends, the Rockets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games and 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a win of more than 10 points, while the Warriors are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games playing on 3 or more days rest and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
Head to head, the Warriors are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings overall and the over is 18-8-1 ATS in the last 27 meetings in Golden State.
The Warriors swept the Rockets during the regular season, winning each game by an average of 15.3 points so you would be hard pressed to make an argument for anything but an easy passage to the NBA Finals for the Warriors. However, the Rockets have looked like a completely different team lately and could just make this series interesting if they're able to steal one of the first two games of the series and that's what I'm expecting, so I'm taking them with the points in Game 1.