National Basketball Association champ faces best of season in West final

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Final Prediction: The Golden State Warriors defeat the Houston Rockets 4-2 to advance to the NBA Finals. Thompson might be one of the five best shooters in National Basketball Association history, while Gordon has shot worse than the league-average from three-point range this year.

Lance McCullers took it old school and rocked a jersey featuring the Rockets logo from the late 90's. He will probably win the MVP this year. After all, while Suns general manager in 2008, he traded All-Star Shawn Marion to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal, who hardly fit that focus of play.

What do the Rockets have that could end the Warriors' reign atop the sport?

Over in the East, the Toronto Raptors charged to the top seed and appeared to be in good shape to represent the conference in the NBA Finals. They have the only backcourt in the league that can compare pretty favorably with the Warriors, combining two All-NBA guards in Chris Paul and James Harden. That 3.6 blocks-per-game average in round two could be monstrous against Golden State.

Whether or not they can is another matter, but Houston represent the greatest challenger this iteration of the Warriors juggernaut has come across. Yeah, we kind of jumped out there because of the team we had and Steve Nash before anybody really caught on. They have a bench filled with defensive stalwarts who can cover multiple positions. "He's a valuable player for us". Will Houston grab the early series lead tonight in Game 1 as a small home favorite?

No one matches up better against Harden than the Warriors. The Warriors may have lost two of three, but they hold the overall point margin from the regular season by just one point.

How the Warriors corral Harden and Paul on drives and midrange jumpers will resonate.

"I feel good. I feel confident in what I'm able to do", Curry said.

I sometimes wish that the playoff seeding requirements and the East/West thing get revamped when it comes to the playoffs because in all reality, this is the NBA Finals that everybody wants to see as it's going to be action-packed in every sense of the word.

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them", Capela told ESPN. Golden State undoubtedly has a sizeable advantage with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the starting lineup.

Rajon Rondo's postseason play certainly boosts the Pelicans' ability to run the floor and execute for easy buckets in transition. Cleveland shot below 40 percent from the field in both games.

"He's maybe the best scorer in the league", Tucker said of Durant. "I think that's something different we'll bring to the table". You do what you can. Get $60 worth of FREE premium member picks.

"Those guys can score the ball".

While the Cavs/Celtics series has either the possibility of going six or seven games, or more of a blowout in the Cavs' favor, this series has the makings of going long distance, as fans have been waiting to experience all season long.

In Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jazz, Paul turned the ball over a combined 13 times. D'Antoni helped with the transition.

"I think we're in excellent shape mentally", Kerr said.