Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors (Game 2): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Where: Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA

When: Tuesday, April 30th at 10:30 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Series Standing: 1-0 GSW

Houston Rockets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time 628-499 | PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU}

Season Record: 53-29

Projected Starting Five: (G) Chris Paul – (G) James Harden – (G) Eric Gordon – (F) P.J. Tucker – (C) Clint Capela

Top Performers:

  • G James Harden – 36.1 PPG | 7.5 APG | .368 3P%
  • C Clint Capela – 16.6 PPG | 12.7 RPG | 1.5 BPG
  • G Chris Paul – 15.6 PPG | 8.2 APG | 2.0 SPG

For all of the information the Rockets have been putting forward against the Warriors, there is one plain and simple fact. They lost their opening game against Golden State.

Outside of James Harden, the Rockets were efficient from the field – which is what kept them in the game. Unfortunately late mistakes and necessary posturing led to Houston’s downfall.

The Rockets will need to be more composed in Game 2. They have the talent to run with the Warriors, but they’ve shown an inability to keep their emotions in check. If they can be cold and calculated, the Warriors will be in for a difficult night.

Golden State Warriors (Home)

Head Coach: Steve Kerr {All-Time 322-88 | GSW}

Season Record: 57-25, 1st in the West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Stephen Curry – (G) Klay Thompson – (F) Kevin Durant – (F) Draymond Green – (F) Andre Iguodala

Top Performers:

  • G Stephen Curry – 31.3 MPG | 25.0 PPG | 7.8 RPG | 5.3 APG
  • F Kevin Durant – 33.5 MPG | 28.8 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 5.3 APG
  • G Klay Thompson – 35.3 MPG | 18.3 PPG | 1.3 BPG | .476 3P%

It was a back and forth affair between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors. Despite going into the break with it all square, the Warriors were able to salvage the win.

It was a statement game for the Warriors, who were in desperate need of this win. So desperate that Golden State played their starters for 34+ minutes each, relying on no more than 15 minutes from any bench player.

It was a close affair between the Rockets and the Warriors. Golden State will enter Game 2 focused on proving that Game 1 wasn’t a fluke.

What’s At Stake?

The rivalry between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors runs deep. In 190 regular season games, the Rockets lead the Warriors 112-78.

In terms of playoff series though, the Warriors hold the edge. They’ve met in three playoff series since 2015, which the Warriors have won 3-0.

The Houston Rockets look to draw level before heading back to Texas for a back-to-back home stand.

The Golden State Warriors aim to go up 2-0 after the second game on their home court.

Refereeing Is At the Top of Everyones Mind

Officiating is always a contentious subject. These men and women have control over the flow of the game and are criticized for questionable decisions. They are not praised or rewarded for correct decisions on the other side.

What is on everyone’s mind due to this series, is the opinion on “close-outs”.

 

 

It is a difficult call. Both players are entitled to their vertical space, but referees don’t have the option of replay in the moment. When James Harden goes for a shot, does he think to draw the foul or convert on the shot first? It’s difficult to say, but it goes for both teams. More efficiency might be seen, if both teams focused more on the play.

Iguodala is Showing His Worth

It seems a lifetime ago that Andre Iguodala was the Finals MVP for the Golden State Warriors in the first of their dynasty-esque run. Inserted into the starting lineup to match the speed of Houston, Iggy has been reborn.

Iguodala was 6-7 from the field, scoring 14 points and adding 4 rebounds and 2 assists. He can switch on anyone defensively and his playmaking allows the snipers across the Warriors first five to roam free.

Most notably Iguodala held Harden to an abysmal 9-28 from the field. Sure a large number of those shots were trying to bait fouls, but without Iguodala on his hip Harden wouldn’t need to do so.

Clint Capela Continues to Disappoint

It was another no-show game for Clint Capela. In 26 minutes the Swiss center posted 4 points and 6 rebounds on 1-2 shooting from the field. Yes the Warriors play fast, but he’s talented enough that their speed shouldn’t neutralize him.

Capela is Harden’s number one pick-and-roll option. This year in the playoffs, Capela is averaging a pedestrian 9.7 points and 9.8 rebounds to this point. While solid, he can surely have a more significant impact on play.

With no real opposition at the center, Capela should be dominating both the paint and the glass. Instead, he is being run out of position and forced to the bench. If he can’t overcome his issues, expect D’Antoni to go small full time.

Draymond’s Game Is Loud As Ever

No word about the Warriors’ stellar defense is said without mentioning Draymond Green. He is the general of their back line and has been absolutely stellar to this point in the playoffs.

He may not be a scoring machine like his other starting teammates, but Green plays a significant role as a defender. He can guard any Houston player straight up and is unafraid to take on an opponent on the switch.

Don’t take his production for granted though. Green scored 14 points, had 9 assists, and 9 rebounds on the evening. He is playing his best basketball of the season, which bodes well for Golden State going forward.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

The Houston Rockets have no roster changes of note.

Golden State Warriors Roster Notes

C DeMarcus Cousins – 17 Apr 2019 – Out (Torn Right Quad) – Cousins reportedly has a six-week timetable for return but may still sit out the remainder of the postseason.

C Damian Jones – 8 Mar 2019 – Out (Torn Left Pectoral) – Head coach Steve Kerr said it’s doubtful that Jones returns during the playoffs, according to a report from Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

X-Factors: PJ Tucker (HOU) vs Kevin Durant (GSW)

This matchup between wing players is incredibly interesting. Tucker, one of the NBA’s premiere perimeter defenders, has the unenviable task of slowing down Kevin Durant who is on the playoff roll of his career.

PJ Tucker

Power Forward | 6-6, 245lb (198cm, 111kg) | Texas | Exp. 7 Years

7.3 PPG | 1.2 APG | 5.8 RPG | 1.6 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 0.8 TOV | .396 FG% | .377 3P%

PJ Tucker is a workhorse, to say the least. Not only does he leave it all on the court, but he also isn’t afraid to leave his opponent with some battle scars.

Tucker did more than get into the face of Durant during the course of Game 1, but it didn’t affect the long Warrior. KD still had 35 points and seemed unfazed by the wily veteran.

Surprisingly, where Tucker might be able to hurt the Warriors the most is via his offense. Tucker was 0-4 in Game 1 and didn’t register a point. If he had at least met his season average, the Rockets could’ve taken the game.

Kevin Durant

Power Forward | 6-9, 240lb (206cm, 108kg) | Texas | Exp. 11 Years

26.0 PPG | 5.9 APG | 6.4 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 1.1 BPG | 2.9 TOV | .521 FG% | .353 3P%

Kevin Durant is an absolute hunter. Once a player to settle for the easy play, he has started to tailor his game to his opponent. Playing with them until he suddenly has 30+ points.

In Game 1 Durant didn’t attempt more than three three-point field goals. He didn’t have to, as his game in the mid-range and in isolation was on full display.

At almost seven feet tall, Durant is a unique talent. He also contributes on the defensive end to hurt the hearts of opponents. As Durant goes, so do the Warriors. If he doesn’t have it, they still have three more All-Stars.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Predictions and Odds

Game 2 will be a testy affair between the Warriors and Rockets. Game 1 showed both teams have their sights set on the future. It’s difficult to bet against a Golden State team with a near-full complement. But if anyone can teach them a lesson it’s the Rockets.

If you reside in New Jersey you can bet on the Rockets vs Warriors game, at one of these sportsbooks:

SportsbookHouston RocketsGolden State WarriorsLink
888Sport NJ+215-265
BetStars NJ+190-250

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