Chris Paul is on the verge of a conference finals. I repeat, Chris Paul is on the verge of a conference finals. It seems as if he can hardly handle it, too, as he was getting a bit chippy last game. Nothing like getting a technical foul up by 14 with 20 seconds left in the game.
We’re going to get the inevitable Rockets vs. Warriors Western Conference Finals very soon, unless the whole Pelicans team starts texting each other at 4 a.m. Gotta do what it takes. The bigger the underdog, the more middle-of-the-night texts are necessary. Since New Orleans will be a double-digit dog, the Brow better start texting his teammates like a drunk fella texts his ex. — Mark Gallant
All info as of Tuesday morning. Check back throughout the day and keep an eye on our Twitter handle for any updates.
GAME 5: UTAH JAZZ AT HOUSTON ROCKETS (-12) | O/U: 208
Houston Leads 3-1
8 p.m. ET | TNT
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
What the metrics say: As Matt Moore mentioned in a piece Monday, the Rockets’ defense is a weapon. They were fine defensively in the regular season, ranking sixth in defensive efficiency and allowing 103.8 points per 100 possessions. So far in the playoffs, they’ve ranked second behind only the Warriors with a 101.1/100 mark — and that’s all against playoff-caliber teams, obviously. The Warriors got the inept San Antonio Spurs in the first round to boost their playoff mark; the Rockets have posted theirs against a great offense in Minnesota and a very good one in Utah. The main unit of Chris Paul-James Harden-Trevor Ariza-P.J. Tucker-Clint Capela has played 66 minutes in the second round and allowed just 84.0 points/100. That’s a ridiculous number, and the Rockets have even more weapons off the bench in guys such as Luc Mbah a Moute. That’s a very good sign in this game and also looking ahead to the seemingly inevitable matchup against the Warriors. — Bryan Mears