Rockets (W-L): 52-30
Jazz (W-L): 51-31
Time: 6:30pm PST
To be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion it really doesn't matter who we play next. Beating the Mavs in the first round felt like winning the damn Super Bowl in the Bay Area (ok exaggeration). Not only did it show the world our heart and passion, but proved to the critics out there (ahem Barkley) that the Warriors are legit and can hang with anyone. Now it's time to see how far our "We Believe" movement can actually take us.
Tonight's final first round match up between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz will determine who we play in the second round. It is the proverbial fork in the road, where one team is well coached with a never die attitude and another who has two legitimate superstars ready to be contenders.
The real question is, who do we want to play? Who do the Warriors match up well against? At this point it's a toss up who will win tonight's game. The Rockets have an edge playing at home, however taking a Jerry Sloan team lightly could cost the Rockets another disappointing early exit. The closest playoff series so far will impact the hearts of Utah, Houston and Warrior fans everywhere.
Warriors vs. Jazz: The Warriors and Jazz split their series this year 2 a piece. Looking at the scores below it basically came down to home court advantage. Both play extremely well at home and have a reputation for both having hostile crowds. As demonstrated this week, the Warriors have us fans to thank for getting them over the hump. I've been saying it all year, the Jazz are a great team and we will have a hard time matching up against Boozer, AK47, and the rest of the sharp shooting Jazz.
"We have to play who next round?" - Boozer
Warriors vs. Rockets: Why on earth would we want to play against Yao Ming (though it would be great!) and TMac? Two larger then life stars in this league have shown all year that when healthy and together they could go all the way. Yao can dominate anyone down low and TMac has the propensity to light it up at anytime. But somehow I think we are a better match up against the Rockets. Nellie can exploit Yao's speed and TMac's offense, as we did against Dirk and the Mav's. Winning two of the three this year, the Warriors showed that we can beat the Rockets at home and on the road. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for!
Can we really stop these two?
TMac has been criticized for never reaching the second round. Teamed up with the larger than life Yao Ming, he looks like he can get over that hump tonight.
Let me know who you would rather play.
Vegas Odds: Rockets by 5 (as of 11am PST).
* Rockets win by 3.
Make sure to give us your predictions in the comments before tip off and post any comments you have during the game right here.
Thanks to mike D for posting the Open thread earlier today.
UPDATE: Bring on Utah!