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Western Conference Finals: Showdown in Houston

James Harden and Chris Paul of the Rockets guard Steph Curry of the Warriors.

As the Western Conference Finals arrive, what can fans expect in this series of Rockets vs. Warriors?

Finally, the matchup we’ve all been waiting for. The Houston Rockets vs. the Golden State Warriors. Established powerhouse vs. rising challenger. Iso ball vs. four-headed monster. Presumed MVP vs. Former MVPs. While 26 other teams sit at home, the powers of the Western Conference are set to go at it. In fact, this was the predicted match-up, going all the way back to the preseason.

As a matter of fact, both teams have gone as far as talking about what this means to them. It is no secret that Rockets GM Daryl Morey built this version of the Rockets to specifically beat the Warriors. Indeed, that’s the way it should be. However, the Warriors are the champions. And they’re certainly acting like it. “Our guys have rings.” That was what Steve Kerr said when asked about the Rockets being hungrier in the postseason.

While the Warriors indeed have rings, this is a different Rockets team they face. Monday night provides the perfect setting to showcase these powerful teams. In other words, get your popcorn ready at the Toyota Center. Prepare for a slugfest. Hope for a long and physical series. One for the ages. This is the matchup the NBA and its fans have been awaiting. Here are some stats on the two teams.

Offensive Rating: Houston ranks 1st with a rating of 114.7. The Warriors rank 3rd at 113.6

Defensive Rating: Houston ranks 6th at 106.1 while the Warriors rank 11th at 107.7

Top offensive players: While the Warriors top scorers, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, averaging 26.4 points per game, it is the Rockets James Harden who leads after averaging 30.4 points per game.

Top shot blockers: The Rockets’ Clint Capela averaged 1.9 blocks per game while KD averaged 1.8 blocks for the Dubs.

It is important to remember that the playoffs are different from the regular season. While the Rockets have the edge after going 2-1 against the Warriors in the regular season, this is a new series for both teams. A fresh start at 0-0. No more room for mistakes for either squad. Will the defending champs represent the West for the 4th consecutive year? Or will the hungry Rockets knock off the evil empire and change up the NBA Finals? We shall see.

What is certain is that Game 1 will set the tone of the series. The NBA is set for an exciting West Finals this season. Here is the schedule for the series as tip-off for Game 1 is set for 8:00 pm central time.

Game 2: Tuesday, May 16th, Golden State @ Houston, tip-off 8:00 pm CT

Game 3: Sunday, May 20th, Houston @ Golden State, tip-off 7:00 pm CT

Game 4: Tuesday, May 22nd, Houston @ Golden State, tip-off 8:00 pm CT

*Game 5: Thursday, May 24th, GS @ Houston, tip-off 8:00 pm CT

*Game 6: Saturday, May 26th, GS @ Houston, tip-off 8:00 pm CT

*Game 7: Monday, May 28th, GS @ Houston, tip-off 8:00 pm CT

* indicates if necessary

The wait is finally over. Rockets vs. Warriors is here. Get your popcorn ready. The Wild Wild West leaves two teams standing. The winner of this series is more than likely the eventual NBA champions. Rockets vs. Warriors. The matchup of the year. Standby, because this series is shaping up to be a fun one.

Game 1 begins Monday, May 14th at the Toyota Center. While both teams prepare, the league and its fans await the results.

 

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