Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors: X-Factor
Usually, I pick a single player for the Rockets’ X-factor, but tonight it is an entire unit. The Rockets’ X-factor is their bench. The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, have the starkest drop off between their starters and their bench.
The Warriors’ bench has a net rating of -6.9, the worst in the NBA, compared to their starters who have the second-best net rating of +4.8. Meanwhile, the Rockets’ starters have the worst net rating at -6.7, but their bench has been much more solid at -1.3.
The Rockets are going to need a strong showing from their bench to win this game, and they have an excellent route to do so. The Rockets’ bench has the league’s best offensive rebounding rate at 37.4%, and the Warriors’ bench has the league’s worst defensive rebounding rate at 66.1%.
With how deadly the Warriors’ starters are, the bench needs to win their minutes in a big way, and the Warriors’ bench has been a sitting duck all season long. It won’t be the most entertaining path to victory, but the Rockets should relish any opportunity to upset a Warriors’ title defense.