The Houston Rockets boast the best record in the league as of March 13th. They are 53-14 and have won nine of their last ten games. They are 34-2 when Chris Paul, James Harden, and Clint Capela are all playing, and they’ve recently won 17 games straight.
However with all this, the Warriors are only two games behind and have been injury riddled the past few months. These two teams are on a collision course to meet each other in the Western Conference Finals. Can the Rockets beat the Warriors in the playoffs?
The Rockets beat the Warriors in the season series 2-1 with no game going past ten points. The Warriors seem like a juggernaut at times, but also seem beatable other times. Now it may be difficult to predict a Houston upset. But here’s a few reasons why the Rockets will at least have a chance.
Rockets dynamic offense
The Rockets can score with the best of them, including Golden State. Houston is 2nd in points per game with 113.7 which is just barely behind the Warriors at 115.6.
The Rockets are first in offensive rating with 115.8 which includes knocking down 36.5 percent of their threes as a team. The Rockets definitely can shoot the ball as they are filled with capable shooters.
Rockets don’t have the shooters Golden State has, but they have a lot of good shooters that can make up the difference.
Not to mention the offense is being orchestrated by the MVP to be James Harden. Harden is averaging an impressive 31 points and 8.7 assists per game. He’s shooting 45 percent from the field and 37 from three which are great percentages considering he’s a high volume shooter. Many did not believe Harden and Paul could work, but both of their games have elevated which can spell trouble for the defending champs.
Rockets are better defensively
Saying the word “defense” and Mike Dantoni in the same sentence is usually blasphemous, but the Rockets have been good on defense this year. They have the 7th best defensive rating in the NBA his year at 106.6 and have played lock down defense in key moments. If they utilize their personnel, they can cause some problems for the Warriors.
Rockets have more size than Warriors
Players like Nene and Clint Capela wreck havoc on the Warriors because the Warriors just aren’t big enough. Draymond and Kevin Durant can only do so much as the Warriors don’t have a true center. It will be interesting to see if rebounding would be a huge factor.
With all these reasons, you’d think Houston was the favorite or that I would be picking them, but when the Warriors turn it on and remain focus they are a dangerous team. Rockets may have a chance or they may not. It’s going to be an interesting playoffs and we will see what will happen if these two teams meet. Until then we can only speculate.