The Golden State Warriors enter Houston without homecourt advantage

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry tries to get past New Orleans Pelicans Rajon Rondo in the first period of Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals at Oracle Arena in Oakland Calif. on Tuesday

But the fact remains that the Warriors have been here before.

The Rockets brought in Paul in hopes it would be enough for them to top the Warriors. Golden State's edge in offensive efficiency against Houston, therefore, will be its lowest since the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the only time, at least on paper, they are the lessor of the two; the Warriors scored 113.6 points per 100 possessions during the 2017-18 regular season. They were eager to talk about Paul's dominant performance, including a playoff career-high 41 points, in a 112-102 victory in Game 5 that eliminated the Jazz. While their starting lineup of Davis, Mirotic, Holiday, Rondo, and E'Twaun Moore is formidable, they have to rely on their starters for most of the game. If that stays the same, the Rockets won't be able to guard them.

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Is Houston a threat? "We seem to be at our best when we are threatened - that's been kind of the m.p. of this team and we definitely are threatened: we're on the road for Game 1". Houston having home-court advantage in this series only bolsters their ominousness.

"Our guys have rings", Kerr reminded reporters. "We've never felt that before".

If both series end in sweeps - unlikely, of course, but possible - the Boston-Cleveland victor would have 10 days off before The Finals and the Houston-Golden State victor would have nine. After all, it's clear to everybody who watched Golden State both in the regular season and the postseason that the Dubs did not care much about the first 82 games.

After his team clinched a spot in the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green sounded ready for the next challenge.

Brad Stevens is the best coach in this series and probably in the National Basketball Association, but James' adaptability in real-time can limit that edge. Or do they lock down LeBron's help and force LeBron to have to go superhuman every single game. The gritty play of Green and Igoudola combined an offense that spreads the floor and moves the ball better than any team in the league will force the Rockets to play a near ideal series in order to advance. Once you get the first one, there's a little bit of house money. And with five days before Game 1, the anticipation will only grow - as will the opportunities for both sides to get their licks in.

Let's start with the basics. "And when you switch, it takes a lot of teams out of their sets", he said, per Mark Medina of The Mercury News. "It doesn't matter what gym we're in or who's the refs, or who's in the stands - am I going to be locked in?"

The Jazz beat the odds this season even though they didn't win a championship because they overachieved in a tough western conference. Of course, we're going to be ready. "The rest of that stuff will figure itself out".

These two teams met three times this season, with Houston winning two of the three meetings.

I like the fact that the public is backing Golden State because - well - they're the public and blindly follow Golden State because Golden State is Golden State.

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