© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Do NOT say, “Houston, we have a problem.” It is trite and weak. Similar to “who is going to step up?” When discussing sports, we can do better.
But with Houston winning 65 games (a franchise record) and doing an awful lot of gloating during the regular season they have to be very disheartened after Game 1. Put it this way, their General Manager Daryl Morey won’t be sending out twitter messages about the Warriors demise any time soon. As an aside, can you ever imagine Bob Myers tweeting about opposing teams? Please.
Here are a few of my thoughts after watching Game 1.
You can’t tell anything about the regular season…really? The Warriors averaged 117 in three meetings against Houston during the regular season. They scored 119 in Game 1. Hmmmmm. But I thought Houston’s defense was dramatically improved?
The officiating will be a story throughout the series because James Harden and Chris Paul spend so much time trying to draw fouls and live at the foul line. Harden gets a lot of conversation about his ability to act like he has been electrocuted after contact at times. But he is an INCREDIBLE scorer. And most times he actually draws contact. It isn’t artistic but it is very effective.
Chris Paul on the other hand gets the most “interesting” whistle in the league. Re-watch Game 1 and focus on Chris Paul. He is fouling players defensively on nearly every possession, and yet wants to have dialogue with officials on every play on both ends of the floor. He is incredibly competitive but the disparity on contact level involving his game against many other players is odd (being very diplomatic).
I love the fact that Kevin Durant asked for the defensive assignment on James Harden. The Warriors have Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodola and KD all willing to put in the effort it takes to guard Harden. It’s a credit to The Beard that he can still be a nuclear scorer vs. this wave of defenders.
Houston also did a great job getting Steph Curry switched on to Harden. That is the genius of Mike D’Antoni. He finds the mismatches he wants and runs them into the ground.
Appreciate that when Draymond Green shoots less the Warriors are better. He is the best defender in the world, an incredible rebounder and has the best motor in the league. He is having a rough shooting season and opponents try to lure him into shooting more often. He went one for five (only one 3-point attempt) and was still +19 when he was on the floor, the best of any Warrior. Scoring is not everything. And a deeper understanding of that statement comes only from really analyzing what it takes to win NBA games. Draymond Green is an ultimate winner.
Steph Curry is not at full quickness and yet he got to the rim. A lot. Uh, oh.
Houston has to have four role players in double figures to win. Game 1 they only had two.
The first half was the most entertaining of the NBA season.
The Warriors won the fast break battle 18 to three. They also went 15-for-17 from the inside. On the road. That has to scare Houston.
Houston is really good, but all the iso basketball will wear this team down. The Warriors had the third most passes in the NBA this season. The Rockets were thirtieth. That matters in the post-season, you have to get more people involved.
As far as all the hand wringing about the Warriors turnovers…try nine turnovers and 119 points. Yes, they will take care of the ball when it matters.
The Warriors have now won a road game in 18-straight playoff series. The NBA record is 19.
Golden state is now 25-3 in their last 28 playoff games. Let that sink in for a second.
This series is not over. Houston will play better.