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2016 NBA Playoffs, first round preview: Warriors host Rockets for Game One

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Welcome to the Playoffs! As the Warriors continue to make History, their first opponent to set off the post season is a familiar face.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup
rockets logo
Golden State Warriors
73-9 (39-2 HOME)
vs
Houston Rockets
41-41 (18-23 ROAD)
Details
April 16, 2016
Oracle Arena -- Oakland, CA
12:30 p.m. PST
ABC | KNBR 680 AM
Blog Buddy: The Dream Shake
Projected Starters
Stephen Curry G Patrick Beverly
Klay Thompson G James Harden
Harrison Barnes F Trevor Ariza
Draymond Green F Donatas Montiejunas
Andrew Bogut C Dwight Howard
Key Injuries
Kevon Looney (hip) - Out


Sam Dekker (back) - Out
Terrence Jones (illness) - Out

★★★

The Houston Rockets must find a way to stop this unstoppable force aiming to repeat another title. It’s the Playoffs Baby!

Team Overviews

The Warriors. First off, cheers to an incredible 73 win season.

Now let's get back to business: We Gonna Be Championship, Part 2! Set aside all those records we've broken during the regular season, the new challenge begins. We're 16 wins away from another Larry O'Brien trophy.

You've got a Warriors team that has made improvements on almost every level to get them where they're at today, whereas the Rockets have struggled throughout the season but managed to creep back into the playoff picture. Anyway you look at it, the Dubs have an the advantage in this series.

The Rockets enter the post season as the 8th seed looking to derail Golden State's championship-bound train. Consider it a rematch from last year's Western Conference Finals expect an offensive show. Fun fact: Houston shot the second most threes in this season. So expect a ton of shots beyond the arc!

Some players to keep an eye on: James Harden can be a threat against the Warriors if he gets his pot stirring. Looking forward to seeing what type of rotation we'll have when it comes to guarding him. We might get a feel for how he plays today. Patrick Beverly makes his return to the playoffs with his eyes on guarding Stephen Curry. Beverly's defensive presence will be put to the test.

Key to the game: Run and gun.

We'll take it any we can and we're going to do it with the variety of weapons we have. So long as the turnovers are low and the shooting percentage is high, we can out play Houston in their own game. Expect a high scoring game that will have Golden State on top.

Highlight Predictions:

- Stephen Curry has had a field day against the Rockets all season long averaging 30 points per game. Let's set the tone early and show em' what it's all about. My big prediction would be of course for Steph to be Steph and let his plays speak for itself.

- Klay Thompson. We've got a full squad on deck but you know Klay: When he gets hot, there's no stopping his streak! Rewind it one time to this seasons New Year's Eve game where Thompson dropped in 38 points to help seal the deal. A repeat performance could be in the works.

- Put the pressure on Dwight Howard. It will be interesting to see how Dwight Howard performs against Golden State. With Draymond, Andrew, Festus and Mo' Speights defending the basket, if we can outplay Superman, our front line of bigs may be his Kryptonite during the series.

- Defense. Expecting a high scoring series? You bet cha'! If we can sprinkle in some defensive pressure and force Houston to create turnovers, we'll be one step ahead of the Rockets.

- Can't forget the Roaracle Crowd. Yea, its only the first game of the series but there's just something magical about our fans that make it a tough place for visiting teams to win in our arena. Set the tone Dub Nation, make it insanely loud for the Rockets to stay focused.

Win Prediction

Show em' who's Boss to set off the series! Warriors defeat the Rockets, 119-110.

Links

What should the Golden State Warriors do with Harrison Barnes?

NBA Playoff Team Stats

2016 NBA Playoffs First Round Preview: Breaking down each Western Conference series

2016 NBA playoffs: Warriors have dominated first round foe over past two seasons

Warriors chasing history: Golden State sets NBA record with 73 wins (Posts from GSoM)