Commentary: Will Rockets continue to launch into playoffs?
16 April, 2018, 14:55
In five previous years in Houston, Harden's Rockets have been one-and-done three times in the playoffs.
The circumstances certainly allude to a measure of complacency on behalf of the Timberwolves, who claimed a winner-take-all showdown with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday to end the longest postseason drought in the league. His teams were bounced in the first round five times, and the other four they lost in the second round. That said, it was not about Towns bricking his shots. "We didn't wake up this morning like, 'Hey, we're going to go to Houston.' We woke up saying we're going to go to Houston and get the job done". He's a great playmaker and makes everyone around him better. Given the way the regular season meetings went, there's little reason to think the Timberwolves can slow Houston's attack: look for the over to come up here. The Minnesota Timberwolves are averaging 109.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting and allowing 107.3 points on 47.5 percent shooting. They also have Chris Paul, who has formed a formidable partnership with Harden after joining the Rockets at the start of the current campaign. A three-point shooting team that has depth and knows how to defend, they are basically every modern National Basketball Association coach's dream.
How Minnesota handles the challenge that comes with defending the Rockets might align with its offensive approach.
It's tough to see Houston shooting as poorly as it did Sunday at any points through the remainder of the series, and the Wolves still couldn't take advantage. If he plays like that vs. KAT, that could be pretty bad.
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Guardiola's players will focus on those targets once they have recovered from a boisterous evening of celebrations in Manchester. Firstly for him, coming to this league for the first time, and then we had to take on all this information he was giving to us.
That gives Jimmy Butler - who was inactive for one game vs. Houston and was hurt during another - more time to rest and recover after his late-season comeback. Of particular concern is the Wolves' defensive rebounding percentage against the Rockets, which is.736.
This year began the era of likely league MVP James Harden and new addition Chris Paul.
Towns finished the series opener with a paltry output of eight points.
While Minnesota possesses more talent than the average 8-seed, beating the Rockets four times in seven games is almost impossible, especially when considering they lost only three games with James Harden, Clint Capela and Paul in the lineup during the regular season. The Rockets are well aware of their potency, and the potential to inflect damage by doing what they usually do.
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Brighton were beaten at Everton and at home to Leicester before being held by Huddersfield in a 1-1 draw last week. I don't really buy into it, but I read stuff on Twitter and think "half of you lot don't even watch me play".
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