Golden State doesn’t help on Harden on the perimeter — if he’s going to beat them from outside, the Warriors will live with that. What they do, however, is force him to make the right decision every time. The Beard hasn’t done that, and it’s hurt his team.
The results have spoken for themselves. In their three games against the Warriors, Houston has shot just 26-of-111, or 23 percent, from three-point range. The Rockets shoot 36 percent from downtown on the season, and that number spikes if you take away the duds against Golden State.
Houston shot just 5-of-31 from downtown on Tuesday. They sorely missed Ryan Anderson, another long-range sniper in the Rockets’ battalion who’s out two weeks with an ankle injury. When the Rockets aren’t splashing threes, Harden becomes less effective.
Houston won’t miss 84 percent of its threes again. They’re too confident and too talented of a group to break down now. But the Warriors have had their number.
Limited Womens Patrick Patterson Jersey And if Golden State’s regular season success is indicative of the potential outcome in a playoff series, Houston may have a problem.
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In March, the Cavs have given up at least 120 points five times (2-3 record) and have held opponents to fewer than 100 points twice (2-0). Cleveland wins when it defends well, but it is rare these days when Cleveland can defend well! They are ranked No. 22 in the league in defensive rating, worse than in 2017-15 (No. 20), when defense was a huge concern until the playoffs actually began.
That is the macro view. The micro view is just as ugly. Consider the guards Kyrie Irving might have to defend just to get the Cavaliers back to the NBA Finals: DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry, Bradley Beal or John Wall, Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic or DION WAITERS. It’s a nightmare spring.