Point: Rockets to Play Like Season on Line Tuesday vs. Warriors

Monday, May 21, 2018 3:32 PM UTC

Monday, May. 21, 2018 3:32 PM UTC

Through three games of the conference championships, the average margin of victory is more than 20 points. Houston doesn't care if it wins big or small in Game 4 -- as long as it wins.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/houston-rockets-vs-golden-state-warriors-3468651/" title="Warriors vs. Rockets">NBA Tuesday:</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/houston-rockets-vs-golden-state-warriors-3468651/" title="Rockets vs. Warriors ">Rockets (74-20 SU, 48-44-2 ATS) vs. Warriors (67-27 SU, 39-52-3 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Rockets +8½</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4433&amp;book=JustBet" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook ">JustBet</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3468651, "sportsbooksIds":[1275,1389,999996,139,1096], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Houston's Game 1 loss to Golden State was disconcerting, but coming back to win by 22 in the second contest of the West finals gave the Rockets and their backers something to feel good about. With three full days off to prepare and knowing the Warriors would be gunning for them, Houston came out a gave a "historic" performance, being the first team to lose by 40-plus points to a Warriors team. (The Philadelphia Warriors beat the St. Louis Bombers by 39 points 70 years ago.)</p><p>SBR colleague Swinging Johnson shot me a text Sunday night after the third period and said he was going to sleep, saying his Rockets' selection had been put to bed. I had to agree. With the current NBA salary at 6.2 million per player and its best team missing more layups than a sixth-grade layup drill, TNT only had viewers watching to make sure the "under" came in on the total.</p><p>Golden State leads the series 2-1 and, on the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" title="NBA Odds">NBA odds board</a>, is an 8½-point home favorite for Game 4 on Tuesday night. Sportsbooks have to show restraint, probably wanting to make Steph Curry and Kevin Durant double-digit chalk.</p><p>After six conference finals games, Swinging Johnson's <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" target="_blank" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a> could be charitably described as "lackluster." For Game 4 he took the Warriors minus the points (huge surprise), and what follows next is my counter-argument on why the Rockets can at least cover the spread.</p><p> </p><h2>Hey Rockets, Play Like You Care!</h2><p>Houston and Golden State each knew coming into this series that the winner is likely to win the NBA championship as heavy favorites against the Eastern representative. Instead of a complete effort, both teams have taken turns playing with about as much passion as a robo-caller pushing a new life insurance policy.</p><p>After Game 3, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said his team played "soft." James Harden proclaimed, "We weren't as aggressive as we needed to be." And Chris Paul added, "We've got to be better." Blah, blah, blah.</p><p>Hey Houston, we don't need Tom Hanks to tell us you have a problem. All that talk is meaningless because you said the same things after Game 1.</p><p><img alt=" meme" src="https://media.makeameme.org/created/picture-of-rockets.jpg" /></p><p>You want to beat Golden State, make layups. If they are contested then make an effort to dunk the ball instead and at least get fouled. Having 19 turnovers -- 19! -- that is what you would expect from Phoenix, not from a team that won 65 regular-season games and two five-game series.</p><p>You thought you were being so cute and funny going after Curry on offense. Hope you enjoyed your huge slice of humble pie as he, coach Steve Kerr and Golden State shoved some down your throat. Get your rear end down, move your feet, have active hands and guard the player you are assigned to and help out others when necessary.</p><p>For Harden and Paul and the rest of the Rockets, it's time to man up. Fortunately, Sunday was just one loss, and with an upset Tuesday they can even the series and reclaim home-court advantage.</p><p>In the last 31 years, the Rockets franchise is 19-6 ATS revenging a loss of 30 or more points. Does this group of players have the compassion, pride, and attitude to at least cover the spread and make this a game worth watching? Swinging Johnson hopes not.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/counterpoint-curry-golden-state-on-warpath-in-game-4/85308">Read why Swinging Johnson thinks he can go to bed early again Tuesday.</a></h2>
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