The Golden State Warriors outplayed Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs at Oracle Arena, and will be gunning for a healthy 2-0 at home on Monday. Rockets, on the other hand, will be eager to play better, and outshine Warriors in Game 2, which is not going to be easy with Stephen Curry and his men showing terrific home form during the regular season.
However, the Warriors might have to do without their star player, Curry, who is recovering from an ankle injury, which he sustained during Game 1. Curry missed a few games during the regular season, and other players like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green stepped up their game to maintain NBA dominance.
Shaun Livingston could replace Curry in Game 2 if he does not recover on time, and with many matches to play in the playoffs, the Warriors might not even risk their key player.
Warriors defeated Rockets with ridiculous ease, score reading 104-78. Curry was the highest-scorer for Warriors with 24 points, and the home team are gearing up for the game without Curry as well.
'When Steph's out, our guys understand that he's not there to count on, so they have to execute. If they don't, we're just not going to score enough points," Warriors' coach Steve Kerr was quoted by AP as saying.
''We've got a lot of guys who can play. I think Steph missed three or four games this year. We did fine. Obviously we've got to find different ways to score. We'll prepare for that and see what happens.''
However, they have not ruled him completely out of the game, as it depends on how he feels on the day as well.
Irrespective of whether Curry play or not, should not be Rockets' concern, they should just focus on giving their best against the defending champions, who are the favourites for the NBA title as well.
The Rockets have the players, who can stand up and be counted like James Harden and Dwight Howard. The duo, if they get their act together, along with Trevor Ariza, can split upon the Warriors defence and cause problems. Harden top scored with 17 points and Howard was closely second (14 points) in Game 1 for the Rockets, and they need to be even better in Game 2.
Howard is up for the game as he wants to draw the series level, which will give them huge advantage as the Rockets welcome Warriors at Toyota Center for the next two games. But, if they lose once again to Warriors in Game 2, their task will be made harder.
"As a competitor, I'm going to get the job done, no matter what it takes. If I get the ball, if I don't get the ball, if I score two points or I score 30 points. I got to go out there and play as hard as I can as long as I'm on the floor, that's all that really matters," ESPN quoted Howard as saying.
The home crowd, which always gathers in numbers at the Oracle Arena, makes the venue turn sea of yellow, will want their team to brush aside Rockets once again, and step closer to the next round of the Playoffs.
Where to watch live
Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets NBA playoff game 2 is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET (8 a.m. IST) start. Indian viewers can watch it live on Sony Six/HD, with live streaming on Sonyliv.
Viewers in the US can watch the Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets NBA playoff game 2 live on TNT, with live streaming on TNT Online.
NBA fans can also watch the Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets NBA playoff game 2 live on NBA.com.