On Memorial Day of 2015 when Houston experienced some its worst rain since Tropical Storm Allison, the Rockets took Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to go 1-3 against the Golden State Warriors in a series they would eventually drop 4-1. On Tax Day of last year, the Houston area saw more flooding, which also coincided with the Houston Rockets losing Game 2 of Round 1 of the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. On Wednesday, Houston experienced flooding throughout the city, which means the Houston Rockets must be playing the Golden State Warriors.
The Houston Rockets (33-12) are set to play host to the Golden State Warriors (36-6), and look to go 2-0 in the season series and 2-1 in flood games. Their last meeting was a welcome addition to what has been a one-sided rivalry when the Rockets managed a 2OT 132-127 win at the Oracle.Newly minted All-Star Starter James Harden recorded a triple-double as he led the way to a win that started a 15-2 December record. Big games were also had by Ryan Anderson, Montrezl Harrell, and Eric Gordon.
When the two highest scoring teams in the league face off on Friday night, the Rockets will have Clint Capela back for his 3rd game since missing most of December with an injury. The Rockets are rightfully easing Capela back into the rotation as he has seen 9 and 11 minutes in his last two. The Rockets have no reason to rush Capela back as extraordinary play from Montrezl Harrell and Nene have kept the Rockets on the right track. Ryan Anderson has missed two games in a row and if he misses again on Friday, expect Sam Dekker and Corey Brewer to see some extended playing time.
The Rockets would certainly like to have all hands on deck against the Warriors in another nationally televised game. This is one of the biggest games of the season for the Rockets and is another chapter in a “rivalry” that includes Patrick Beverley getting into it with Steph Curry and James Harden’s step-back game-winner in Game 3 of last years first round that still gives you chills.
The Rockets need to play to their strengths by making 3’s and keeping the momentum on their side as the Warriors will bury their opponents with quick scoring. The Warriors have won 9 of their last 10, and seem to be a much better team than when they played them in early December. To win this game, the Rockets will also have to improve at guarding Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, both of whom had at least 28 points last game. The Rockets task to win will come down how the defense plays and shooting the 3, both of which have been inconsistent in the past week.
This game could set up as another instant classic, but only one thing is certain. There will be no shortage of points.