Some major sports outlets are billing the Western Conference Finals matchup between the Houston Rockets and defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors as The Unstoppable Force Meets The Immovable Object. A few years back, Minute Physics explained how such an interaction would unfold. The laws of physics would require both to have an infinite amount of mass and energy, but would not allow their velocities to change, so in theory they would simply just pass right through each other.
If only it was that simple.
While the teams may match up scientifically, when the human element is added to the equation, the heart of the Houston Rockets will come into play. When it gets right down to it, Houston has myriad reasons beyond the hardwood to win this championship. The coaching legacy of a two-time NBA Coach of the Year is at stake. The championship legacies of a future Hall of Fame point guard and a future NBA MVP, both with past playoff failures to rectify, is also at stake as well as.
If Golden State loses, they just come back next season stronger and healthier. It’s deeper than hoops for Houston.
Here’s 5 reason why the Rockets will win the Western Conference Finals.
For the first time in the Steve Kerr Era the Warriors dont have home-court advantage.
Having home court advantage is vital, especially during a series that most people feel will come down to the wire. If Houston is 3-3 going back home for Game 7, they will be going for the series win in front of some rabid Rockets fans who will be so close to the franchise’s first NBA finals appearance since the Hakeem Olajuwon Era that they can taste it.
Dub Nation could definitely win a Game 7 in Houston. Cleveland defeated Golden State in the 2016 NBA championship by winning a Game 7 at The Oracle, which is like the toughest task in sports, but those results go against the mathematical grain.
Final 3:39 of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals | Cavaliers vs Warriors
We flashback to the final 3 minutes and 39 seconds of Game 7 of the NBA Finals where 2 of the best plays in NBA History transpired! About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada.
According to vegasinsider.com, as of May 1, the NBA had 129 Game 7s in playoff history. The home team is 103-26 (80%) in those games. When two teams are as closely matched as Houston and Golden State, you don’t need to be a Jeopardy contestant to say “I’ll take home court and an 80 percent chance of winning for the championship Alex.”
It’s time for Houston to take its respect.
According to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, Golden State is favored to win the NBA Championship despite being a lower seed than Houston, who led the NBA in wins with 65. The Rockets are the first one seed to be underdogs in the Western Conference finals since the 2005 Steve Nash Phoenix Suns. Despite Houston’s dominating body of work this season, the majority of fans and analysts are still riding with Steph, KD, Klay and Dray.
Golden State isn’t showing them any respect either. Steve Kerr put Houston on notice this week, letting them know that the difference between the two team is that “Our guys have rings.”
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Steve Kerr on whether the Houston Rockets have an edge because of their hunger: “Our guys have rings” https://t.co/VTnToFmO0o
The disrespect factor has to come into play at some point. Mike D’Antoni needs to find a way to use this as bulletin board material and motivate Houston in some way. When Houston was willing to run up in the Clippers locker room earlier in the season, it showed that they were going to pull any punches necessary to be respected.
The Rockets are 50-5 in games that James Harden, CP3 and Clint Capela play together.
Those numbers count for something. Golden State has an abundance of all-star talent that allows them to suffer through lapses of bad play by pen for their superstars because they are so rich with bility that someone else compensates for it. Golden State has also suffered some injuries later in this season that have not allowed them to get the full continuity that they’d like entering these Finals.
James Harden, Chris Paul & Clint Capela 70 Pts 2018.02.23 Houston Rockets vs TWolves | FreeDawkins
James Harden With 31 Pts, Chris Paul With 14 & Clint Capela With 25 Pts 2018.02.23 Houston Rockets vs TWolves ‘FreeDawkins NBA Video’ –Like And Subscribe For More! Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DawkinsMTA Boxscore – DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA.
Houston is functioning as a well-oiled machine at this point. Harden survived some early playoffs shooting woes and is looking like a maniac dressed in red and black ready to attack. Ready to take that fourth-quarter winning shot while facing series elimination if he misses.
The final bell is sounding for Chris Paul who will be putting it all on the line in this series.
The NBA world will see the best CP3 has to offer in this series. I believe he will be so dominant and masterful and intelligent and rambunctious and relentless and efficient that he might not have anything left for the finals if Houston is able to slay this impenetrable Dub Nation monster.
NBA on Twitter
On his 33rd birthday, Chris Paul puts up 27 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST to help the @HoustonRockets head home with a 3-1 series lead! #Rockets #NBAPlayoffs https://t.co/Rykh2f9DSg
Paul has played with a chip on his shoulder throughout his entire NBA career and he finds himself in the familiar role of underdog. But this time he is going to war with weapons and a real live shot at advancing to his first NBA finals appearance. The Warriors winning a third championship in four years is a cool scoop, but the narrative that any competitor will support is Paul joining with Harden and bringing an instant credibility to the criticized careers of both superstars.
If the bells of justice ring true for the NBA, CP3 will finally get his props as the best pure point guard of his NBA generation, no longer just the really lit hooping the sidekick friend to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James championship shadow.
Mike D’Antoni’s Revenge
Mike D’Antoni will finally prove that his trademark high-flying offensive scheme that he introduced to the NBA after his coaching days in Italy — a style so heavily criticized over his 14-years of coaching with the Suns, Lakers, and Knicks — can win his players’ rings and not just scoring titles, scoring records and three-point records.
D’antoni has been here before. He went to back-to-back Western Conference championships with Steve Nash and Amare’ Stoudemire back in 2004-05 and 2005-06. The three teams he’s coached since did tons of scoring but fell short of winning championships. The disparaging narrative was that D’Antoni’s system could turn your team into a winner, but lacked the defensive elements to win championship playoff basketball.
Mike D’Antoni Has Been Redeemed With Rockets | Final Take | First Take | May 9, 2017
Max Kellerman says Mike D’Antoni’s style of coaching has officially been redeemed because the Houston Rockets were willing to buy into him whereas the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers organizations did not.
If Houston can get past Golden State, it will at least prove that D’Antoni has finally mastered his system, tweaked it a bit to make up for flaws on the defensive end and proved that with the right pieces “D’Antoni’s System” can win championships if executed to perfection.