Had Chris Paul not gone down with an injury during the Western Conference Finals last year, the Houston Rockets may have gone on to beat the Golden State Warriors. That possibility led to many being excited for the Rockets and Warriors to meet in the playoffs again this year.
But so far, the series is not looking like it is going to be the hard-fought contest fans were hoping it would be. Yes, the Rockets kept it interesting in Games One and Two. But they still lost. Teams that are down 0-2 in a playoff series usually do not make a miraculous comeback.
It is possible and has been done—but still improbable.
That is why the odds favor the Warriors to win the series, but if you were to bet on the Rockets and they won, you would get a decent return. The odds to win the series, according to BetOnline.ag, are as follows:
- Houston Rockets +500
- Golden State Warriors -650
That translates to the Warriors having an 86.67 percent chance to win and the Rockets having a 16.67 percent chance. It doesn’t sound like the Rockets have much of a chance and that anything bet on them now would be lost money.
But should they pull off the comeback, that would mean betting $100 would get you $500. Who doesn’t like that? It’s a nice enough take to make exploring the possibility worthwhile. Can Houston do it? It depends on how the stars align….
Both Klay Thompson and Steph Curry entered the series nursing ankle injuries but have managed to play through whatever discomfort they may have just fine. Curry suffered a dislocated finger in Game Two but did return to the game after briefly leaving. According to reports, he looked fine during workouts Thursday.
Neither has been a significant contributor for the Warriors, yet. Kevin Durant has done all the heavy lifting, but he is due to have an off night or two sometime in the near future. But with how each has played, it is hard to say if either will step up and fill the void.
Defensively, the Rockets really haven’t played a bad game. They just aren’t getting the job done on the offensive end. They have gotten behind early due to slow starts and were then forced to play catch-up. Harden has struggled to hit his shots, and no one has really done very well from three-point range.
Yes, they were 17-40 in Game Two from behind the arc, but that game exposed another issue—the Rockets simply are not taking enough shots. During the regular season, they averaged over 87 shot attempts a game. In Game One they had 74 and in Game Two just 77.
Golden State had 75 in Game One but 91 in Game Two.
So—can Houston do it?
The Rockets have to win both games in Houston to have a real shot. They are favored to win Game Three and if the offense can wake up, they will. Assuming they do, it is not hard to imagine them keeping the good times rolling and winning Game Four.
The series would then become a best of three with two games in Oakland and one in Houston.
Golden State has lost a series after leading it 2-0 twice in the past. So, can the Rockets do it? Of course, they can. But should you wager on it? Probably not.