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WCF Game 1 preview: Rockets must take control early to win series

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 31: James Harden
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 31: James Harden
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The Rockets and Warriors begin their series today! The two powerhouses will duke it out in Game 1 starting at 8 p.m. CT.

The day is finally here, ladies and gentlemen. The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors will meet for Game 1 in one of the most anticipated playoff matchups in recent history.

The Rockets, having won 65 games and taking control of the first seed in the West, will have homecourt advantage for this series. The Warriors will not have homecourt for the first time in four years.

Houston must come out strong in Game 1 and make a statement. They will, in fact, be wearing their black Statement Nike jerseys, so that helps.

Let’s look at the (fairly empty) injury report for the two teams:

Injury Report

For the Rockets, they are fully healthy and ready to go for Game 1. Hopefully, James Harden is back to 100% after being sick the last two games of the previous series.

Patrick McCaw is out for the Warriors tomorrow night. He has a spine contusion and is out for at least four weeks. McCaw has been out for the entire postseason thus far. Stephen Curry continues to play after returning from an MCL sprain.

Projected Starting 5

Rockets

Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/P.J. Tucker/Clint Capela

Warriors

Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson/Kevin Durant/Draymond Green/Zaza Pachulia

Notes

It is unknown at the time what the Warriors will look like to start Game 1. If I had to guess, Zaza Pachulia or JaVale McGee will start to match up with Clint Capela.

The Rockets have been talking quite a bit about this series for some time now. They need to back up that talk with a huge win tonight.

If Houston can take advantage of their size, that will give them a huge up in the series. Clint Capela needs to dominate for them.

Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon need to come back strong in this series as well. They are vital players for the team that have been struggling throughout the playoffs.

Who’s ready to get this series going? It all begins tonight.

Next: Rockets need to keep down the turnovers against the Warriors

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