Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets Pick
Golden State Warriors (63-27, 39-50-1 ATS) vs. Houston Rockets (57-32 SU, 44-42-3 ATS)
When: Saturday, May 4th, 2019 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Point Spread: GS +3.5 / HOU -3.5 (WagerWeb)
Total: O/U 222.0
Last Time Out: Warriors won game two 115-109. Warriors lead the series 2-0.
Game Three Rest Advantages:
Game two was played on April 30th so each team will have had three days of rest. There is not a huge sample size for this scenario, but the Warriors are 3-0 straight up and 1-2 against the spread. The Rockets are 2-4 straight up and against the spread.
There are not too many injuries to note, but you should be aware of a couple just in case their status changes before tip-off. First, we have Stephen Curry for the Warriors. Curry is dealing with a dislocated finger but is still listed as probable. Next, we have James Harden for the Rockets. Harden is dealing with an eye laceration and even has said it has been hard for him to see. Despite his eye, he is also listed as probable for this critical game three.
The Golden Five:
At this point, playing the Warriors is just not fair. It is like when you are playing 2k on PlayStation, and you create a super team by turning the salary cap off. This basically describes how good this Warriors team is. There is not much to say about this Warriors team, but I did notice one trend that could cause a problem especially on the road.
My biggest key for the Warriors will be to finish the game strong. This sounds obvious, but Golden State has been outscored in the fourth quarter in both games by a combined four points. This does not sound like much but allowing the Rockets back into the game in the dying minutes could be the difference between a 3-0 lead and a 2-1 lead. Take game two, for example, the Warriors were up by 10 points with 22 seconds left in the game. They then preceded to allow the Rockets to cut the lead all the way down to 4 points before two free throws finally sealed the deal. This example tells me the Warriors may try to get complacent if they have a big lead and start to slack off. That said, if the Warriors can play the full 48 minutes and not get lazy in the final quarter, they will win this game and take the 3-0 lead they desire.
I Can See…Barely:
Of course, this subtitle is referring to the injury Harden has and the one I mentioned earlier. I assume Harden will play regardless and therefore he will not be the key to a Rockets. Well, he will, but we know he is likely to score 30+ so I want to look at some other guys who can help Houston get back into this series.
I want to start with a starter who I feel needs to provide a lot more to this series. I am explicitly talking about Clint Capela. Capela is averaging 9 points per game through the first two games as well as 8 rebounds per game. For a guy as big as he is, this is just unacceptable. And we are talking about the same guy who averaged 16.6 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game in the regular season. So basically, Capela needs to steal back his powers from the “Monstarz” and get back to averaging a double-double. I did some more research to prove Capela has crushed the Warriors this year. Over four regular season games against Golden State, Capela averaged 15 points per game and 14.8 rebounds per game. I know the regular season is long gone at this point, but still, Capela has proved himself against the defending Champs and must play better for the Rockets to get a win.
The second key to a Rockets win will be their bench production. Through two games Austin Rivers has been the only Rocket to score more than 10 coming off the bench. Granted he did not play in game one, but his 14 in game two was a nice addition. Especially from three-point range, Rivers is 4 for 6 in this series from deep range, so if he continues to shoot the ball at that rate, it will give the Rockets an excellent chance to win at home.
Even though they are an underdog, I love the Warriors in this game. They have held Harden to 38.3% from the field, and I believe this will continue in game three. Take the Warriors plus the points to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
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