Chris Paul put the team on his back

James Harden Donovan Mitchell

Chris Paul, with Rockets, reaches conference finals at last

The veteran has hardly been needed to do it all this season due to Harden's brilliance, but the win was a reminder of the luxuries Houston are equipped with. Capela is as agile and athletic as they come, and the Rockets tend to throw out numerous small-ball lineups. Houston's center declared that the Rockets were the better team after they defeated Houston 116-108 on January 20. We are going to keep improving our roster.... If Golden State makes the odds longer, we might up our risk profile and get even more aggressive.

Perhaps Houston has been eying a matchup with Golden State for the last several months.

Except, of course, that the Warriors will open the conference finals on the road, something they haven't done in a playoff series under Steve Kerr.

The three Warriors-Rockets games were about as anticipated as any in the regular season: Golden State lost two of the three, and the final combined score of those matchups was Warriors 353, Rockets 352. "We're not about to run off talking about how bad we want to play somebody", Draymond Green told reporters after Golden State clinched their second-round series victory. We've got eight more wins to get. If you're like me then you're always on the go.

Now that Paul has finally broken through after years of trying, we have to wonder whether a weight will be lifted from his shoulders?

It was a resounding effort by the Pelicans, who played the fourth quarter without floor general Rajon Rondo, who suffered an unfortunate hamstring injury late in the game. We're really fighting to get there. "I'll continue to get better, continue to get my timing right, continue to get back to the normal rotation, the normal minutes I'm out there playing and hopefully won't look back". We will see Clint Capela being guarded by Kevin Durant or Green. They've got us and we've got them. They'll have to play elite defense to cover all of the Warriors' weapons. And Green wasn't backing away after Tuesday's game. Paul had always been a master of mid-range jumpers and point guard post-ups.

Mike D'Antoni's system that revolves around isolation basketball produced the NBA's No.1 offense. Harden only shot 31.8 percent from the field. Harden is averaging 30.5 points, 8.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game in the series against the Jazz. Which is a testament to how well the Warriors have defended the perimeter.

That fact has been a dark cloud hanging over Paul's Hall of Fame-worthy career, in which he's been one of the best point guards to ever play. "But both teams still have a job to do", Warriors guard Klay Thompson said.

Game one of this series will take place on Monday, May 14th.

PRIORITY ON SHOOTING: Gentry gives New Orleans little chance of staying in the series and staving off elimination without a big scoring performance. Green was also an energizer bunny off the bench and he also grabbed five rebounds and recorded a steal.

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