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2015 NBA Playoffs: Do The Houston Rockets Stand A Chance Against the Golden State Warriors?

The media has already counted the Rockets out in this series.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There are quite a few people out there who don't think the Houston Rockets have a chance in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.  Most sports pundits and talking heads have already anointed the Warriors the Western Conference Champions, most saying that it will be in sweep, so why not just paint NBA Finals on the floor in Oracle instead of the WCF logo?

Just head over to ESPN's Sportsnation and take a look at their poll asking how the series is going to turnout.  It's either the Warriors in X amount of games or "Rockets."



Yeah, just Rockets.  We don't get to vote in how many games or anything!  That is completely disrespectful!  This isn't the Harlem Globetrotters vs. The Washington Generals.  This isn't Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Summerslam 2014. This isn't Little Mac vs. Glass Joe.

I spoke with Matt Moore from CBS' Eye on Basketball and he had this to say about Houston's chances, "If the Rockets are to have a chance, a lot of things that are hard to expect have to happen. Josh Smith has to have a monstrous series, Dwight Howard has to dominate a tough defense, and the Rockets have to play better defense than they've played all year, vs. a team that is identified by being impossible to stop. Good luck with that."

Rockets vs. Warriors: Regular Season Head-to-Head Stats
Houston Rockets
(0-4, 0-2 Away)
Golden State Warriors
(4-0, 2-0 Home)
Stats Comparison
99.8 Points Per Game 115.0
40.1 Field Goal % 49.9
77.2 Free Throw % 73.8
29.5 3-Point % 38.2
43.8 Rebounds 48.0
1.8 Blocks 8.3
10.5 Steals 11.0
18.3 Turnovers 17.8
18.3 Assists 25.3

During the regular season it's safe to say that the Warriors dominated the Rockets.  They won the series 4-0, winning the games by an average of 15.3 points per game.  Dwight Howard missed two of those games, Josh Smith and Corey Brewer were not on the team for two of those games and James Harden no-showed for two of those games.

Another thing of note is that each of these contests took place before the All-Star game.

You know what those stats mean?  Absolutely nothing!

How have the teams fared in their playoff series thus far?

Rockets vs. Warriors: Team stats through two rounds
Houston Rockets
(8-4, Away)
Golden State Warriors
(8-2, Home)
Stats Comparison
111.4 Points Per Game 102.2
45.2 Field Goal % 46.0
65.4 Free Throw % 71.4
34.8 3-Point % 38.5
47.3 Rebounds 31.8
6.2 Blocks 4.4
8.1 Steals 5.4
14.6 Turnovers 10.6
22.7 PPG Allowed 17.3

You know what those stats mean?  Absolutely nothing!

The Grizzlies were able to slow down the Warriors for a few games and show that they are indeed beatable.  The Rockets were a better team than the Grizzlies this season.  Like in the series against the Clippers the Rockets are going to need to contain the role players once again.  Stephen Curry can go out there and score 65 points each night, but if the Rockets can keep Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and company under a combined 45 points each night, then the Rockets have a shot to win.

When they did that against the Clippers they did in fact win.

How big do Trevor Ariza, Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni come up again?  How big of a factor will Terrence Jones and Clint Capela be off the bench?  What type of magic does Kevin McHale have left?

Do the Rockets have a chance?  Hell yes, they do!  This is why the games are played on a court and not in the media. This is a different Rockets team from back in January when these teams last played.  There is a chip on their shoulder.

Count them out now at your own peril.