May 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) reacts with guard Corey Brewer (33) after he blocks a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) during the second half in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Keys To Winning:
This Warrior squad isn’t the Mavericks or even the Clippers and as such the Rockets need to protect the ball even more than their two previous series. A turnover versus the Warriors won’t just result in a lay-up or dunk as Golden State is known for running the court for pull-up threes.
Looking at the playoffs stat lines the one area the Rockets hold an edge is their bench. It’s not that Golden State doesn’t have depth, they do. It’s more that the Warriors bench brings defensive specialists to the floor. With Marreese Speights out that will help Houston but they’ll still need their reserves to force pace offensively while trying to hold down the Warriors from pushing pace.
HOW DO YOU STOP BOTH CURRY AND THOMPSON?
As outlined in the Key Match-ups so much time and effort will be required to stop Curry it may result in Thompson being able to excel.
The good news is he’ll need to utilize his efforts defensively to stop Harden.
Still, it will be essential for Houston to get their three ball dropping and to dominate the paint simultaneously. If they can do this it will force Curry to be more involved defensively.
Perhaps the strategy should be to put length on Curry and then clog the passing lanes. If Houston can manage to do that they may be able to gain an advantage.
What occurred in the Clippers series was key to push the Rockets mind set at the exact perfect time. They need to channel that confidence early in this series as getting down 3-1 and coming back would be a death sentence. More importantly they need to really aim to take a split in Golden State so they can overcome the thought that they can’t beat the Warriors who’ve beaten them in all their regular season match-ups.
Next: 3 Defensive Keys?