May 23, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets bench reacts during the game against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Eight is Enough:
The streak now stands at eight straight games the Rockets have failed to beat Golden State. Sure they need to win to stay alive, but it’s imperative for them to win just so they know they can. December 13, 2013 seems like eons ago, so it’s time to erase that date and enter May 25, 2015.
It’s Time To Play Nick Johnson More:
My thoughts are why not give Nick Johnson some more run and make his soul responsibility to guard Curry and anything else is gravy. Johnson is known for his athleticism and ability to play defense, so why not capitalize on that. Trevor Ariza has held Klay Thompson in check for the most part so why not get Johnson to play the role of defensive pest on Curry. It can’t hurt to give it a try and if it doesn’t work then you can always go back to Pablo.
Ariza can’t continue to guard whoever is hot on the floor, it’s taking a toll on him offensively and for the first time all year I’ve seen him start to miss defensive coverages. McHale is leaning on him too hard and Johnson may just be the elixir required.
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James Harden did everything but win the 2 games in Golden State and seemingly disappeared in Game 3.
He was on a mission in the first 2 contests, but his performance in Game 3 had more to do with his mindset than Harrison Barnes being shifted to cover him.
Several times he didn’t bother to even get back on defense and he was far less aggressive.
At least Harden has a reason for the mental block given he’d carried the team doing everything possible and likely felt responsible for the loss in Game 2. The thing is why the heck would Dwight Howard pass the ball back to Harden seeing he had 2 players draped on him?
Analysts have discussed how the play failed because Harden should’ve kept driving instead of pulling up or that McHale should’ve called a time out, but in my opinion the greatest error was made by Howard who should have viewed the court to see which player was open since Thompson & Curry were both on Harden.
Regardless, the Rockets need to have short memories and wipe Games 1 through 3 out of their minds. They need to focus on winning one game at a time and most importantly show pride on their home court.
Next: Limping Forward?