Warriors favored over Rockets, who have home court

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is helped off the court after sustaining an injury against the Houston Rockets

AP Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is helped off the court after sustaining an injury against the Houston Rockets

Now that the traffic has cleared, the National Basketball Association playoffs feature four heavyweight teams ready to slug it out.

It certainly does not disappoint.

It's tough to get charged up for a mid-February game against, let's say, the Suns.

Wednesday, May 16: Golden State at Houston, 9 p.m.

Everyone gets to catch their collective breaths for a few days, with the league going dark until the weekend.

So, who do you want to win the Western Conference Finals and advance to face either the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers?

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Who is most likely to win the 2018 NBA Championship? Paul will do so for the first time in his stellar 13-year career after 86 postseason games played. The Boston Celtics travel to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers for Sunday's game one of the Eastern Conference finals. "It's a nice feeling to have and to go into a series with". He's fifth in playoff wins with 152, behind only Derek Fisher (161), Tim Duncan (157), Robert Horry (155) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (154).

Davis had 34 points and 19 rebounds for a Pelicans team that overcame the loss of DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon three months ago to make this strong run.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened the Warriors as -185 favorites to win the best-of-seven series against Houston. If that line holds, it will mark the seventh game this season in which Golden State has been an underdog. "I think I'm not supposed to say that, but we're basically obsessed with 'How do we beat the Warriors?' Last year, the Spurs knocked us off, so we're very anxious about the Spurs". Houston's net rating was 8.5, to 8.0 for the Warriors. "But now you've got, you know. they got us, we got them".

Kerr also singled out two players who are capable of guarding multiple positions. Where LeBron James is still playing like LeBron James, the Celtics have found heroics from unexpected places throughout these playoffs, specifically rookie Jayson Tatum. James is No. 2 on the all-time list with 346 playoff 3-pointers. If Houston has another level, they better bring it now. Allen played in 171, and James has played in 228.

Nearly seven months later, the conference finals begin with Cleveland at Boston, Golden State at Houston.

No, the goal seems to be two wins and a demoralizing start to the series for the Rockets - don't just negate home-court advantage, swing the advantage your way. They are 24-3 overall in six series and have yet to even be pushed to a Game 6.

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In one of the defining performances of his career, Paul carried the Rockets down the stretch in Game 5 against a feisty Utah Jazz team. In two of those postseason appearances, Paul came within a game of reaching the conference finals.

The Warriors won the regular season series against the Pelicans 3-1. He has been driving to the basket around the same amount of times per game but with less success.

The Rockets could represent the best chance to stop the Warriors from winning three titles in four years.

Mitchell scored the final 14 points of the third for the Jazz, abusing each and every defender the Rockets sent in his direction. The gritty play of Green and Igoudola combined an offense that spreads the floor and moves the ball better than any team in the league will force the Rockets to play a near flawless series in order to advance.

The 12 playoff teams that have already been eliminated will be getting checks adding up to about $7 million from the league.

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