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Warriors-Rockets Game 1 Recap

The Warriors beat the Rockets convincingly in Game 1. Will Stephen Curry’s ankle injury leave the Warriors vulnerable in Game 2?

Moke Hamilton

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After winning an NBA record 73 regular season games, the Golden State Warriors were set to defend their 2015 NBA Championship by hosting the Houston Rockets in a rematch of the 2015 Western Conference Finals. At the beginning of the season, if asked, one may have correctly predicted that the Warriors and Rockets would do battle in the playoffs, but few would have imagined that it would have taken place in the first round as the 1-8 matchup.

If what transpired in Game 1 is indicative of what we will see in this series, it will be over quick, as the Rockets failed to compete and, in Dwight Howard’s words, were “embarrassed.”

But for now, a more important issue emerges. Curry has been listed as questionable for Game 2.

In just over 19 minutes of action, the league’s reigning MVP scored 24 points on just 8-13 shooting from the field. Amazingly, 16 of those points came in the game’s first quarter after Curry was seemingly motivated by an early double-technical that resulted from a shove he received from Patrick Beverly shortly after the game had begun. The Warriors led 33-15 after the game’s first quarter and saw their lead balloon to 60-35 by the half.

Toward the end of the half, Curry began favoring his ankle and had his ankle re-taped, but never reentered the contest.

Even without him, the Warriors were able to easily handle the Rockets, eventually cruising to a 26-point victory despite the Rockets getting the deficit to as little as 15 points in the game’s second half.

Obviously, all eyes are now on Curry and his ankle. With Game 2 scheduled for Monday, there is a relatively quick turnaround. Although this is bad news for the Warriors, it probably only improves the prospects of the Rockets marginally.

All season long, the Rockets have suffered from a lack of chemistry on both ends of the floor and the Warriors are simply too great of a defensive team to lose to a team that is built around one player. Even without Curry for the game’s second half, the Warriors were able to hold the Rockets to about 36 percent shooting from the field. With the defensive versatility of Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston, the Rockets will continue to have trouble scoring the basketball and that is true regardless if Curry is or is not at or near 100 percent for Game 2.

What will determine the outcome of Monday night’s contest, though, will be whether and to what extent the Warriors can find offense from other sources. During the regular season, the champions were 2-1 without Curry and relied heavily on both Green and Livingston to orchestrate their offense. While both Green and Livingston have that ability, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala will need to assist with shouldering the scoring burden left by Curry’s potential absence.

If Curry is able to play, another blowout is likely but even without him, in Oakland, picking the Warriors to win Game 2 is still a relatively safe bet.

Prediction: Warriors Win Game 2

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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