The Palmerbet NBA preview breaks down MVP Candidate, James Harden’s Houston Rockets trip to title favourites, Golden State Warriors. Its the NBA’s best shooting team in Klay, Steph and KD, versus the one man free throw flopper! This one’s likely going to be a preview of the Western Conference final, but is one team already out of the contest?
14:30 (AEDT), Fri 4th Jan @ Oracle Arena, Oakland
History: Played 214: Rockets 122 V Warriors 92
Last meeting: November 15, 2018: Warriors 86 lost to the Rockets 107 at Staples Center, Los Angeles
Final Thoughts: The match up that everyone wants to see. MVP (and referee) favourite, James Harden versus the Hampton 5. This one looks to be one man, taking on one of the greatest sides of all time. Should be a simple one to call? When you’re talking about James Harden, anything is possible but its unlikely today.
There’s no getting around the Rockets injury crisis. Superstar point guard Chris Paul continues to miss and now back up guard, Eric Gordon is also likely to be out. This has got the look of James Robinson’s one man rampage at the battle of Xa Cam My (look it up, its a thing!) as Harden has to take on the might of the Warriors single handedly. Harden’s MVP credentials are the real deal. Averaging 33 points and 8 assists a game, he’s world class. During his last 10 games, he’s been averaging over 40 points per game and he’s on the rampage! Unfortunately for the Rockets its bad news against the Warriors because he averages only 27 points. He’ll need 50+ for them to win.
What do you say about the Warriors? They’ve having their worst win % year since 2013-14 and they still lead the Western Conference by four games! Their injury and team harmony issues seem to be a thing of the past because of their double figure wins over the Suns and Trail Blazers this week. Worryingly for the rest of the league, Boogie Cousins doesn’t look far away from returning. Imagine lining up against Curry, Durant, Green, Thompson and Cousins!
In terms of where the current Warriors are at, Klay Thompson’s form slump appears to have ended, Kevin Durant does what’s required and Steph Curry remains effortlessly Steph Curry. KD and Curry are currently ranked as 3rd and 4th in ESPN’s player ranking so the form line is impressive. Golden State own the best team shooting % in the league. Meanwhile the Rockets are ranked just 23rd. Its easy to get caught up in the Warrior Big 3, but the work that Draymond Green does in the paint also has to be respected. Our confidence increases because of the way the Warriors continue to kill the contest by 3 quarter time.
The Warriors have three of the top 20 point scorers in the NBA this season. Houston has just 1 in the top 50! They have former Defensive Player of the Year and one of the best 6th players in the last 10 years. We’re stats people at Palmerbet, we don’t fall into the Harden hype. He’s scoring is great but his turnover rate is exceptionally poor at almost 6 per game and his defensive skills are as missing as the golden city of El Dorado. The Warriors are firm favourites and should win easily because so many Rocket injuries and their immense talent.
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