Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets
The Warriors coasted through the regular season to secure the No.1 seed in the West, and they followed that up with a series sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans to continue to impress.
However, rookie coach Steve Kerr and his men finally faced adversity last time out, trailing the Memphis Grizzlies 2-1 after suffering a shock loss at the Oracle Arena. Nevertheless, they reacted like champions to win three straight games to advance to this stage.
Meanwhile, the Rockets also came through in dramatic fashion as after seeing off in-state rivals the Dallas Mavericks, they went the distance with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Having been in a 3-1 hole, Houston won three consecutive games including Sunday’s thrilling Game 7 decider, and here they are back in the conference finals.
While there are several intriguing parts of this series, the one that stands out the most will be Stephen Curry vs James Harden. Golden State’s MVP is averaging 28.2 points and 6.8 assists in the playoffs, while his opposite number is putting up equally as impressive numbers with 26.7 points and 8.0 assists per game.
That will undoubtedly be the most fun aspect of this match-up, but it won’t be the decisive one. Kerr can rely on a deep and talented roster to outwork and outscore the Rockets, with their backcourt causing real problems for their veterans. Coupled with the fact that Golden State have lost just three times at home all year, it will take something special from Harden and Dwight Howard to win a series against Dub Nation.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors win series 4-1 vs Houston Rockets.