Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets (Game 3): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets

Where: Toyota Centre in Houston, TX

When: Saturday, May 4th at 8:30 PM EST

How (TV): ABC

Series Standing: 2-0 GSW

Golden State Warriors (Away)

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%

The Golden State Warriors are absolutely rolling. They are leaning heavily on their four stars and it is paying dividends. The Rockets have their backs against the wall.

Every starter for the Golden State Warriors played at least 32 minutes in the game. Every single one of those players left the game with a net positive rating on the night, compared to their bench who was a net negative save for Jonas Jerebko.

The Warriors aim to put a chokehold on the series when they take on the Rockets on their home court. There’s no pressure on the Warriors in this game, but that won’t stop them from performing.

Houston Rockets (Home)

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

The Rockets haven’t been embarrassed in their first two matchups with the Golden State Warriors. In fact, they’ve looked to be a decently competitive side. Unfortunately, it hasn’t all come together.

The Rockets are an all-offense team who could use a sprinkling of defense to help them stop the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, as they focus in on one Warrior star, another one steps up in their place.

The Rockets received decent contributions from all of their key pieces in Game 2. It just wasn’t enough to overcome the reigning champions. They will hope that the home court advantage can help them close out the game.

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.

A win for the Golden State Warriors would put them up 3-0 over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

A win for the Rockets would record for them their first win in this series.

Defense Defines the Warriors

Clutch shooting and offensive dominance are the sexiest characteristics of the Golden State Warriors as a team. With four All-Stars amongst their roster, it’s amazing that they experience any shooting slump.

Despite that ability, it is their defense that has carried them through their matches in this post-season. Against the Rockets, they’ve been spectacular. The Rockets can score with any team, but timely stops are what has given the Warriors two straight wins.

Houston have been making a big issue out of the beneficial treatment toward the Warriors by the whistle. Should it be true, the Warriors defense will have to step up as they are the visitors for the first time this series.

Capela Has Been Neutralized

Clint Capela is coming off of a brilliant regular season showing against the Golden State Warriors. Save for one difficult matchup against DeMarcus Cousins, Capela was thought to be the key for the Rockets in this series.

Through the first two games of the series, Capela was on the court for a total of 60 minutes. In that time, the Rockets had a net rating of -31.3 with him on the court versus a +29.5 with him on the bench.

The Warriors are just a difficult matchup for Capela. Especially with their “death lineup” in tow, there are few places for him on the court. Capela will need to establish himself early if he wants to earn late playing time in the remainder of this series.

Draymond Green is a Star Again

Between all of the controversy of biased treatment and unfair calls, Draymond Green has proven himself to still be one of the NBA’s most talented defensive players. Green was famously overweight throughout the season, but he’s definitely found his fitness by round two.

Since Green lost 23 pounds in time for the post-season, he has looked more energetic on both sides of the court. His continuous effort on both ends is something that wasn’t seen during the regular season and is causing trouble for the Rockets.

He and Andre Iguodala have been immense for the Golden State Warriors defense. Green’s versatility on both ends is a problem for the Rockets when they choose to double Durant or Curry. If he can maintain his play on both ends, Green could catapult himself back into the upper echelon of players.

The Rockets Need A Better Start

While the Rockets battled back on several different occasions during Game 2, they were unable to close the gap entirely and take a comfortable lead. A large part of that struggle was their sloppiness at the beginning of the game.

The Rockets looked sluggish in the opening frame, particularly on offense where they turned the ball over five times. Those turnovers were an issue, as they had accumulated five turnovers before they were able to attempt five field goals.

With the home crowd at their back, expect a more focused effort from the Rockets at the beginning of Game 3. If they can’t find their rhythm early, the Warriors are sure to capitalize.

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 its doubtful that Jones returns during the playoffs, according to a report from Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

X-Factors: Shaun Livingston (GSW) vs Austin Rivers (HOU)

These two bench contributors are invaluable to the success of their respective teams. Livingston is more of a defensive piece, using his length to affect the play in his favour. On the other side, the Rockets hope Rivers can channel his solid Game 2 performance into a spectacular Game 3 outing.

Shaun Livingston

Point Guard | 6-7, 192lb (201cm, 87kg) | Peoria Central HS | Exp. 13 Years

4.0 PPG | 1.8 APG | 1.8 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 0.6 TOV | .519 FG% | .000 3P%

Shaun Livingston was one of the few Warriors bench players to get an extended run in Game 2 against the Houston Rockets. His size and defensive ability are incredibly valuable to their second unit.

With Livingston on the court, Steve Kerr has a player that can spell Klay Thompson from the most difficult defensive assignments. His length and athleticism allow him to challenge both guards and forwards in the paint and on the perimeter.

Austin Rivers

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 200lb (193cm, 90kg) | Duke | Exp. 6 Years

8.1 PPG | 2.2 APG | 2.1 RPG | 1.2 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .424 FG% | .378 3P%

Austin Rivers has been an enigma for the Houston Rockets. While he was showed flashes of ability during the regular season, he has been inconsistent overall for the Rockets.

In Game 2 against the Warriors, Rivers gave the Rockets ample product off of the bench. He scored 14 points on 5-8 shooting and was 4-6 from three-point range. He was a +10 off of the bench and provided the Rockets a needed boost.

Houston will need more of the same from him in Game 3, as Golden State is certain to push early to take out the Rockets.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Predictions and Odds

The Golden State Warriors have the unique opportunity to go up 3-0 on who will likely be their most difficult matchup in this NBA Playoffs. The Rockets won’t bend over though, as they are sure to rally the energy of their home fans to take their first game in this Western Conference Semi-Final series.

If you reside in New Jersey, you can bet on the Warriors vs Rockets game at one of the following sportsbooks. Good luck!

Sportsbook Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Link
888Sport NJ +140 -167
BetStars NJ +140 -167

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