Locky: Has Golden State Figured Out Houston?
Pictured: Kevin Durant. Photo credit: Kelley L Cox — USA TODAY Sports
Well, I wrote in the Game 3 guide that a potential Warriors lockdown defensive performance may have been brewing (and that’s why I leaned to the under), and boy was their effort impressive Sunday night. It was yet another combination of an A++ game from one team and the poorest possible effort from the other, which seems to be a theme in this round of the playoffs. Now the Warriors are correctly getting a lot of credit in the market for Game 4. And once again, I get to be the annoying wet blanket and hate this series and pass.
What is there to like about the Rockets in this spot? They are a team with no pedigree whatsoever for overcoming adversity in the playoffs. Their coach and their best player have a reputation for folding in this exact situation. Golden State’s defense on screens was phenomenal last game, and Stephen Curry appeared to get much better as the game went on. The longer the series goes, the more comfortable I think Golden State gets with Houston. When you see the same simple offensive concepts over and over again, you have to — on some level — feel more comfortable in stopping it.
Has Houston been figured out as much as it can be? It’s possible. You can make some kind of contrarian argument that no one is backing the Rockets in this spot, so they may be valuable, but making decisions ONLY on this type of information is just as ridiculous as any system. And all of the other types of information make me want to avoid the Rockets.
On the other side, taking Golden State at a big number off an A++ game isn’t very appealing either. Although the trends put forth by other members of the team here about Steve Kerr as a big favorite are compelling, I’m just always wary of backing a team off its best possible effort, because there’s no way you’re getting any real value in the line. The game that sticks with the betting public the most is the one they just watched. Another lame pass from me in this series. I know. I’m the worst.