NBA Playoffs Vegas Online Sports Betting & Predictions Monday May 14th, 2018
The Rematch Begins as Cleveland Visits Boston in Game One of Conference Finals
Back in December, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey admitted that his team is ‘obsessed’ with beating the Golden State Warriors. Of course he was talking about in the playoffs and now his team will get the chance as they get set to square off in the Western Conference Finals.
Morey constructed this team over the past few years with exactly that goal in mind. He brought Chris Paul over from the Clippers last year to pair with his in-house superstar James Harden to ensure that at least one of these future hall of famers would be on the floor at all times to help improve the scoring. He brought in athletic big-men who can cover a lot of ground and multiple positions in PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute to go along with longer time Rocket Trevor Ariza. Two years ago he brought in Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson in order to turbo-boost the offense from long range when Harden decides to kick the ball out to his sharp shooters.
Plus he hired a wizard of a coach in Mike D’Antoni to put it all together.
What he also knew he was getting are players and a coach who have accomplished a ton, except be the very best as measured by winning a championship.
And what we’ve seen so far this year is a team that finished with the best record in the regular season, the best offense and a top-six defense to help balance things out.
In the playoffs this cast has shown an ability to rise up thus far winning both of their first series in five games. That was particularly impressive against a red-hot Utah team who managed to tie their series with a road win in game two. But Houston bounced back to win three straight and all told their margin of victory in the series was 14.5 points.
What else is there to say about Golden State? They’ve won two championships in the last three years and lost in game seven of the finals two years ago. They still have not lost a playoff series since signing Kevin Durant as a free agent after that finals loss. What’s more they’ve yet to be pushed to a sixth game in any of those six series that he’s been a Warrior. New Orleans was no match last round pushing the pace and the same could be said for San Antonio who tried to slow things down in round one.
This team is healthy and hungry for one more championship and Houston is the best team -on paper- they’ve faced in the past four years since this run of excellence started. Let the games begin!
Houston is -1.5 favorites in this one and I think the Rockets are hungry. What’s more, their status as a team trying to dethrone the champs means they all but need to get off to a great start. But until the Warriors show otherwise, they have proven time and again an ability to raise their level of play higher than any of their opponents so I like them here as well. The Pick: Warriors 118-111.