Golden State at Houston
Time: 8 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: GSW -6.5
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
Game 6 was a story of halves. The Houston Rockets led by 10-points at Intermission, only to score a pathetic 25 points in the second-half of Game 6 to allow the Golden State Warriors to push a Game 7. Game 7 tips off at 8 PM (CT) on TNT, with the Warriors, 6.5-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul is listed as a “game-time decision” as he battles back from a hamstring injury sustained in the closing moments of Game 5. His status has a lot of weight in determining the victor of this game, and moreover, if he is able to go, how effective will he be?
Paul has been crucial to the Rockets’ successes this season. The veteran point guard now is facing one of the toughest “go” moments in his career though, as a trip to the NBA Finals looms, lingering on how well his hamstring can recover in time for a crucial Game 7. Houston certainly looked like it had the juice in Game 6, before a disastrous second half, punctuated by a 9-point fourth quarter, as the Warriors stormed back from a 10-point halftime deficit to win big. Stephen Curry may be smelling blood with a gimpy Paul, and it stands to reason that even if CP3 can suit up, Mike D’Antoni will rightly exercise caution with his superstar.
James Harden, after all, can carry Houston with his hot hand, and if Harden is having one of his nights, it might not matter if CP3 is fully functional or not. Then again, there is the stacked Warriors lineup which always has three major scoring superstars and only one need get going.
This game is going to be exciting. The betting total of 207 is conspicuous after two straight games with the teams combining for less than 200 points.
Can the Rockets get the pace it wants again and muffle the Warriors attack?
As tends to happen from time to time, Klay Thompson had one of his nights in Game 6. The 2-guard scored 35 points and was augmented by Curry’s 29, as the Splash Brothers were in fine form. Thompson is averaging 20.6 points per game in the postseason, as inconsistent as he has been.
Over the last two games, however, he has scored an average of 29 points per game, while having managed just 31 points in the three games prior (2 through 4). Which Thompson will show up tonight? He has hit 13 of his last 21 three-point shots, and we are going to go ahead and label Thompson the key to the Warriors’ victory. Curry and Durant will likely each score 30 apiece, roughly, but with Thompson shooting lights out, Golden State becomes rather unbeatable.
So, in short, the keys to this game are a hot-shooting Thompson for Golden State and a healthy Paul for the Houston Rockets. Neither can be predicted with any sort of real rationale, but those are the two players that might go furthest in determining the outcome of tonight’s game.