One team is universally liked by the casual fan, the other vehemently hated. We did not get the dreaded San Antonio Spurs team that fell to the Los Angeles' best and now appears to be their final effort. We did not get the heated rivalry that consisted of Draymond Green getting into fights with Dahntay Jones and Blake Griffin. At the same time. Instead, we get two teams who don't respect each other - "they ain't even that good" - and a series that threatens to create another rivalry worth our while.
The Golden State Warriors move the ball at such a frenetic pace that even the high-risk plays leading to turnovers often result in oohs and aahs from both home and road crowds. The Houston Rockets are as analytically-drive as the Warriors but also rely on a more steady diet of high pick-and-rolls, allowing James Harden the space to dribble, dribble, cross, and swing through someone's forearm for a foul call.
One team jacks up threes in transition like that's why basketball was invented and they were put on this very Earth to do something that teams have curbed themselves from doing their entire life. The other relies on a ragtag group of veterans that have gotten kicked off teams for shooting too many dumb shots (Josh Smith), hated by multiple fan bases for reasons (Dwight Howard), and of course the James Harden flop effect.
Then as we get to the top we get to Daryl Morey, the GM most despise either because he treats his players like chess pieces, refusing to buy into the notion that chemistry exists, and essentially building a team without a true leader. The NBA is a business, as people love to say; Morey simply brings that to its most extreme level. (Of course, this isn't to say he's a bad GM. He's one of the best and swindled the Oklahoma City Thunder out of a superstar for trash assets). On the other side, there is Bob Myers, a GM that hasn't gone out of his way promoting a single player on his team (unlike Morey) because he think it's unfair to the other players on the team. Then there was Bob Myers tearing up on the podium during Stephen Curry's MVP ceremony. Real emotion.
But those things are the narrative, the reasons why social media will consist of fake online humans tearing each other apart. As for the actual stuff on the court?
Things to watch on defense:
The Houston Rockets are hard to figure out at this point in the postseason. During the regular season they were a stronger defensive than offensive team, finished 12th in offensive efficiency and 6th in defensive efficiency. Like the Golden State Warriors of last season, they don't possess many shooters beyond James Harden and maybe Trevor Ariza. They compensate by playing at a higher pace at the second-highest pace and jacking up three-point shots despite the lack of accuracy.
Things to watch on offense:
Series Prediction: Golden State Warriors in 4