This series has everything. The Rockets have lost just twice in their last 27 games at the Toyota Center though one of those came in Game 2 against the Jazz. The old, rugged Spurs somehow stole a game from the Warriors, the youthful Timberwolves did the same against the Rockets, the Pelicans swept the third-seeded Trailblazers, and Donovan Mitchell cemented his position as a superstar, not an up-and-coming superstar but a full fleshed superstar in the current day, as the Jazz dispatched the Thunder's "big-three" in six games.
Houston's forwards are going to need to do a better job of slowing him down if they want to win this series, and I don't know if anyone is capable of stopping KD when he's fully engaged. He would not return to the game, forced to watch the final seven-plus minutes of Utah's season tick away from the sideline. "It took us a while to figure out things". I had plenty of questions about how these two would play together earlier in the off-season, but they've certainly proven me and many others wrong.
"Last year we had even less ability to overcome what they did offensively", Griffin, now an analyst for SiriusXM, said of the difference between the last two NBA Finals, which the Cavaliers and Warriors split. "Even in the beginning of the year when I got here, it was just thinking a lot, trying to be flawless, trying to make the right play rather than just being aggressive, so I'm continuing to watch film, working out with the coaches and finding myself again slowly".
Teams are often defined by whether they win the championship or not. That set Houston on a path to NBA's best record, as the Rockets remained neck-and-neck with the Warriors until after the all-star break, when injuries hampered Golden State and Houston kept rolling. "Alright, now let's get it. Let's get to it now". "We'll see who better". He scored or assisted on 29 of the Jazz's 32 points in that quarter.
Paul had been criticized over the course of his 13-year National Basketball Association career for never getting past the second round in nine previous playoff runs. Golden State beat New Orleans, 113-104. There's a variety of reasons that caused that, including Golden State's deemphasized importance on regular season wins, but the home-home-road edge for the Rockets remains.
Taking down the defending champions is a daunting task.
James Harden (right) and Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets congratulate each other after the Rockets defeated the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night to win th.
Of those 20 previous teams that achieved that feat, 15 eventually won the championship. I think the people will have a great time watching that series, because you have great players out there.
Now that Paul has finally broken through after years of trying, we have to wonder whether a weight will be lifted from his shoulders? The Warriors have gone to five games in both of their series.
The first round of the Western Conference Playoffs were fantastic.
Harden has shot 8.1 free throws a game in the playoffs, down from his regular season total, but his 81 total free throws is second only to LeBron James, who has played in one more game.
It's all we've been asking for.
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