Warriors Open as Favorites in Western Conference Finals

Jazz shootaround Defense needs to find antidote to Paul Harden Capela for series to continue

Oakland, Calif. • The past six months have been a prelude for the next two weeks.

The Rockets begin their Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors on Monday night at the Toyota Center in Houston.

In Texas, Chris Paul scored 41 points as Houston made sure of their place in the Conference Finals.

The defending National Basketball Association champions Warriors are favored in their Western Conference finals matchup against the Rockets.

The Rockets had earlier booked their place in the conference finals with a 112-102 win over the Utah Jazz to take the series 4-1. "Hopefully those go in next round more frequently". Golden State beat New Orleans, 113-104. There is star power on both sides, and playoff history and animus to go with it.

"The first two games here, we've gotten production out of the bottom of the order and that sets up nicely for the top of the order", Hinch said. We know they want to beat us, and we want to beat them.

The Warriors are coming off a "down" season, by their standards. But, Paul's offense (18 in the fourth quarter) and the Rockets team defense was enough to get the Rockets out of the second round and on a likely collision course with the Golden State Warriors. After the third and final meeting, Capela told ESPN what the Rockets were thinking. He put us all on his back and said listen: "'I got us'". "And I like to get in my sweet spot and go to work".

"We are better than them". Chris Paul will be defended by Stephen Curry or the Warriors will placed Draymond Green like the way they matched him against New Orleans' Rajon Rondo. What did he say?

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When asked how he felt about getting the chance to play in his first Conference Finals, he said: "Who plays just for that?" "That's all fine and dandy in January".

"I'd probably watch all 97 games all over again before we get back". Though the incident caused Curry to become upset with officials, Curry showed no signs of discomfort after Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday pushed him toward the stanchion underneath the basket with 5:08 left in the second quarter.

This Western Conference Finals are where the Warriors were expected to get to. "I think the people will have a great time watching that series". The point guard averaged 19.6 points in 25 minutes per game against the Pelicans. Paul will defend Curry or Houston will match a bigger Trevor Ariza. So the Houston Rockets will face off with a team they know all too well.

Houston won two of three regular season meetings against Golden State. But it did take a little while longer this time. Golden State realizes this will be a daunting task. He also lost 4-2 to the Thunder while with Los Angeles, and his Clippers had a 3-1 lead in 2015 before Houston won the next three games.

"That stuff has been said for about a year now". Perfect. But we're not running around talking about, 'Man, we want them bad.' Nah, we want a championship bad. If you in the way of that, then you happen to be in the way. They desperately wanted to steal a key cog of the Warriors' core.

But now we get the matchup we've been waiting for.

It's all we've been asking for.

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