The Warriors champions, against the stellar Rockets for the title of the West
Stephen Curry (30), of the Golden State Warriors, drives the ball to James Harden (13), of the Houston Rockets, in the NBA playoffs, on May 27, 2015 in Oakland (USA)
Defending champions Golden State Warriors, seeking their third NBA title in four years, will face off against regular-season leaders, the Houston Rockets, in an anticipated run-off to the Western Conference finals on Monday.
“We like our position, our guys have rings, it’s a good thing,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said before opening the series in Houston.
The Warriors are looking for a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA finals.
“We are going to know that we are the defending champions, that we have a couple of championships in recent years and we are going for another one.” Starting a series like that is a pleasant feeling, “said the coach.
The Rockets, led by NBA scoring champion James Harden, are 2-1 against Golden State in the regular season and went 65-17 overall in the league to capitalize on the local advantage, now in the top to the best of seven meetings.
Having been eliminated from the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs in three of the past four seasons, the Rockets added star point guard Chris Paul and PJ Tucker to join Trevor Ariza, and then saw the Swiss Clint Capela enjoy his best season. with records of 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
“It’s going to be a fight,” said Capela. “This team is going to be difficult, there will be many adjustments after each game, it will be a game of chess,” he added.
The clash between both teams, explosives in the offensive part, was anticipated by many since the beginning of the season.
“You loved us, here you have us, now it’s time to play the game,” proclaimed the stellar and brave Golden State forward, Draymond Green. “His team was designed to beat us, it’s his obsession.”
Green added that “obviously you want to build your team to beat the defending champions, because that’s generally how you get a championship, understandable, it’s been talked about for a year or so, it’s time to play.”
Green argued that the Warriors’ motivation is to add another title, not disqualify imitators.
“We got two championships in three years, we’re not going to talk about how much we want to beat someone,” Green said. “We want another and it does not matter who is on the road.”
– Texan threat –
The most valuable ex-players of the NBA, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, join Green, Andre Iguodala and sniper Klay Thompson in a starting lineup called “Death” or “The Hamptons Five”.
“They accept the challenge,” Kerr said. “It seems we are at our best when they threaten us, and we are definitely threatened.”
Curry has had a solid comeback after missing several weeks with knee and ankle injuries.
“I feel good, I have confidence in what I can do,” Curry said. “I continue to improve, recovering the rhythm.”
Golden State led the NBA in scoring just ahead of Houston in the season.
Now the Warriors are listed as the best defensive set in the playoffs, just ahead of the Rockets.
“We will be ready,” Capela warned. “Everyone is excited.”
– Offensive assured –
Harden averaged 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game during the season, while Durant and Curry recorded 26.4 points each for Golden State and Thompson contributed 20, with Green contributing 13.1 points , 11.5 rebounds and nine assists in the postseason.
For Paul and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, this is an opportunity to get his first presence in the NBA Finals, and perhaps even win another championship for Houston, after the 1994 and 1995 titles.
“It’s the champions, it’s going to be difficult,” Rockets forward Luc Mbah told Moute. “We have what it takes, we’re ready, they have to be ready for us, too.” We demonstrate throughout the season that we can with them.
“We were the best team in the league all year, but that is not our goal, our goal is to go further,” concluded Mbah Moute.