The final of the Western Conference of the NBA begins with a match expected by many: the game that will be played by the Warriors of Golden State vs. the Rockets of Houston, the defending champion against the highest-scoring team of the regular season.
Golden State is looking for its third NBA title in the last four years, so they know what it is like to reach the decisive playoffs of the league, but they will have a very hard bone to crack, with this Texan team that learned after being eliminated by San Antonio Spurs in three of the last four years and it was reinforced for this campaign with excellent results.
In addition to James Harden, the leading scorer of the league, they now have the support of point guard Chris Paul and PJ Tucker, as well as the best versions of Trevor Ariza and the Swiss Clint Capela. This led them to beat the Warriors 2-1 in the regular season.
The coach of the Californians, Steve Kerr, said that the experience accumulated in the last three finals gives them a "nice feeling", although they have to face a team that has a solid local advantage at the beginning of the series to the best of seven games.
"We’re going to go in here knowing we’re the defending champs, knowing we got a couple of championships here the last few years. Let’s go for another one. It’s a nice feeling to have and to go into a series with," said the coach.
With this matchup, the predictions of the majority of the basketball analysts are met, who estimated that because of their structures, both teams had to play the final of the West, and some regretted that they were not in different Conferences to see them in the NBA Finals.
Golden State does not have a new strategy. They will continue playing with Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and recovered Stephen Curry, who overcame his discomfort quickly and without losing effectiveness.
As a curiosity, Golden State led the NBA in scoring and defense, just ahead of the Houston team, in a new sample of how even both teams are. In addition, this Monday, it will be the golden opportunity in 13 years for Chris Paul to participate in an NBA final, despite being considered among the best owners of the league.
Boston controlled LeBron James and won the first of the Eastern Final
The Boston Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers this Sunday 108-83 to win the first of the Eastern Conference finals, in a game in which the key was that they managed to control the actions of LeBron James.
The good defense on James joined the mistake in the long distance shots, as Cleveland missed his first 14 attempts of triples, which opened the space for the Celtics to easily control the score from the first minutes, to the point that for the rest they already had an advantage of 61-31.
LeBron could barely finish the game with 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, numbers that are far from the usual in any playoff.
For Boston, Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds, Marcus Morris had 21 points and 10 boards, and Al Horford finished with 20 points, four rebounds and six assists, despite playing just 27 minutes.
The second match of the series will be played this Tuesday night.