Stephens gonna Steph.
Game 4 – WCF
Houston at Golden St.
Time: 8 PM CT TNT
Spread: GSW -8.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Houston Rockets failed to step up to the challenge of a road game in Game 3 of the WCF Best-of-Seven. Golden State utterly humiliated the Rockets at Oracle, winning by a nearly absurd 41-point difference, as Kevin Durant and especially Stephen Curry just proved to be too much for the Rox in their home venue.
Game 4 may bring about a closer game, but NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes still set the line a heavy 8.5-points in favor of the repeating champs. The over/under is set at 224.5 points, and Game 1 saw a combined total of 225, while Game 2 was at 232 and Game 3 was a mere 211.
We still prefer the over, mostly because teams adjust and this should ideally be a much closer game than what we saw the last outing.
Stephen Curry “Stephed” his way to what we are accustomed to seeing from him, scoring 35 points while connecting on five made threes. He also added six boards and turned the ball over only once, as the Warriors committed just eight total turnovers while assisting 20 of its 48 made field goals.
Kevin Durant had a “quiet” 25 points, and all Warriors starters reached double-figure scoring totals. Game 2 will present something of a challenge for Golden State, as veteran forward Andre Iguodala is expected to sit out with a bruised quadriceps muscle. It did not sound serious enough to hold him out of a Game 5 or beyond, but he will miss tonight’s contest which could mean that Kevon Looney starts in his place.
Looney has drawn immense praise for his defensive versatility in this postseason, with an ability to switch out on to Houston’s guards and (somehow) force awkward looks or even turnovers. The second-year forward is now looking like a major future contributor for the Dubs as if they did not already have enough talent waiting in the wings.
Rookie big man Jordan Bell may also see some of those Iggy minutes, though he did log only 10 (minutes) last game and was used sparsely prior to that, too. The Warriors also will turn to Nick Young for some more offense, since that is really all Young is good for. He scored five points on 1 of 3 shooting (all threes) in Game 3, but Young is never gun-shy and could pretty much explode at any given moment within Golden State’s offense.
The Rockets did get a decent game from James Harden, but we are used to seeing much more than “Decent” from the Beard. He shot 7 of 16 for 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds, but Chris Paul struggled badly- shooting just 5 of 16 from the field en route to 13 points, four assists and 10 rebounds.
The Rockets (theoretically, at least) have its biggest advantage in the backcourt, but with both of its star players turning in mediocre games, there was little chance against the Dubs at home. Should Golden State ultimately secure a Game 4 victory and take a 3-1 lead, there seems to be little impedance to the Warriors repeating as NBA champs, not with how the Eastern Conference is currently looking: a battle of the JV division, that is to say.
The Rockets may have won 65-games in the regular season, but the playoffs are “a different animal” and it was tough to imagine a team modeled after the league’s greatest, usurping its throne. The Warriors have largely coasted to this point in the season, and now that it is turning on its thrusters (with all due respect to the Rockets being named such!), there seems to be little to no slowing a team so offensively stacked. Even if Curry is slowed, there are three other All-Stars to account for, and no defender has had any reasonable defense for Durant, anyway.