Counterpoint: Golden State Grounds the Rockets In Game 3 at The Town

Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:31 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 19, 2018 6:31 PM UTC

While Game 3 in the Western Finals is very important, Tuesday's confrontation will be critical to the loser on Sunday night. The storylines are unfolding and adjustments will decide what's next.

<p>Houston gave a pedestrian effort in the series opener. With the Rockets mentally ready for Game 2, they carved up Golden State's defense for 127 points on 51.1 percent shooting accuracy. That was the poorest defensive effort by the Warriors, at least statistically, in five weeks when Utah sliced and diced them for 119 digits while shooting 53.3 percent on April 10th.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Live Odds For This Game"><strong>Houston vs Golden State</strong></a></h2><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3468650, "sportsbooksIds":[180,19,169,139,93], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: Warriors</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=Intertops" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">at Intertops</a></strong></h2><p>As bad as it looked, Golden State got a split and has a tremendous opportunity at home to take a 3-1 series lead in the next few days.</p><p>Not being into the all the superheroes movies, I would consider myself more of a Batman guy, with Swinging Johnson maybe Superman type - Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice - (I just saw the trailers).</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;The Town vs. H-Town. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;🎟️ &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;May 18, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>With us, alternating picks here at SBR, for <a href="" target="_blank" title="Your home for a ton of daily free picks, SBR. ">NBA picks </a>I took Golden State for Game 3 with the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Don't be left with a bad number, use the SBR odds pages. ">NBA odds </a>having the Warriors at -7.5. I'm sure Superman, sorry, Swinging Johnson was delighted to have the best team during the regular season catching that many points. But every superhero has a weakness and I'm convinced I just handed him a sack of kryptonite. Here's what I mean.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Golden State Brings Effort, Sticky Defense, and Shooting Touch</strong></h2><p>The first two encounters were about energy and execution. Each team took a turn at and the other was not able to keep up on either level. I cannot think of a scenario where Golden State will be so nonchalant this time around. Not having the time to go over every one of the Warriors 94 box scores this season, I feel pretty comfortable in saying the starting five's -118 plus/minus rating was or very close to the worst of the season.</p><p>Though Kevin Durant had 38 points, his +/- was a team worst -28. Coach Steve Kerr will not coddle these players and he will challenge them and I expect them to respond.</p><p>Of Golden State's 13 playoffs games, only two would be considered 'poor'. James Harden and Chris Paul are really tough to guard. Mike D'Antoni has game-planned either to attack Steph Curry. This is an excellent plan given Curry's shortcoming's on that end of the floor. Nonetheless, Kerr just has to remind his team that Harden and Paul will rack up their points and it's everyone's responsibility to limit the other Rockets players to 45 or fewer points.</p><p>Because the Warriors were not mentally engaged on Wednesday, their quality of shots really suffered. Their ball movement was mediocre and they settled for too many contested or hurried shots. Look for that to change. While there is a lot of talk about Curry's play, with how Houston is guarding him, he would be better served to drive, dish and take mid-range shots to stretch the Rockets defense internally.</p><p>I know SJ has confidently gone to the window and picked up his Houston +7.5 betting ticket, but around 10:30 Eastern, that slip will be torn to shreds and somebody will be going to bed in a bad mood.</p>
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