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Warriors vs. Rockets Game 4 Preview: The return of Wardell

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The Warriors will look to return home with a 3-1 lead in a critical Game 4. I predict Steph will be the one to lead them there.

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3 was a wild ride that saw the fate of the Warrior’s bid for a three-peat completely become undone. Stephen Curry is a fraud and we should just tank for Zion at this point. Forgive the hyperbolism, but the hot takes that boil up from the dreary cavernous pits of Twitter and god forbid NBA Reddit seem to be contagious.

In related news, the missed dunk heard around the world that capped off one of the worst performances of Stephen Curry’s career will almost certainly live on in infamy.

But while the internet will happily dwell on the countless number of memes that moment will continue to generate, the Golden State Warriors will have no choice but to move on to focusing on taking back control of this series.

And though we can dwell on Curry’s disappearance the other night, here’s a few more questions to address first.

Game Details

Who: Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets (Warriors lead series 2-1)

When: Monday, May 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Where: Toyota Center — Houston, Texas

TV: TNT

Blog in the other corner: The Dream Shake

The Rebounding/2nd Chance Advantage

One of the biggest reasons behind the Warriors taking a two game lead in this series was behind the incredible job they were doing on the boards.

Many of these playoff games boil down to a war of attrition and as important as limiting the team’s turnovers, is coming out on top of the rebound column. Especially with Curry injured and in a funk, winning the possessions battle should continue to be a top priority for the team.

PJ Tucker managed to haul down a couple of monster boards in the fourth quarter and overtime that helped the Rockets eventually seal the win.

If the Warriors want to return to Oakland with a 3-1 series lead, allowing their opponent to nab close to twenty offensive boards probably won’t suffice.

The Role Players Ball

In Game 2, Jonas Jerebko subbed in for Curry after his finger injury and quickly breathed life back into a deflated Oracle crowd with a huge put-back dunk. Later on in the game, it was Alfonzo McKinnie who soared high above the trees to pull down a monster offensive board that lead to another Warrior’s bucket.

These types of momentum changing plays were nowhere to be found by the Warrior’s role players in Game 3. Rather it was the Rocket’s own bench who came through with some clutch shots and plays down the stretch to tilt the tide in their favor.

Namely it was Iman Shumpert who cashed in on three critical three-pointers that sharply cut short several runs the Warriors made during the game.

Austin Rivers, who is putting together a very solid series thus far, also nailed two additional shots from beyond the arc that helped the Rockets walk away with a win on their home court.

It’s widely known that role players often come up short on the road, but if the Warriors can find some more productive minutes off the bench than what they got in the last game, a split in Houston becomes much more plausible to draw up.

And What About Steph?

Look, out of all the hilarious narratives that have been pushed or are being pushed about poor playoff performers, the one about Curry has been one of the more baseless ones.

The guy has only averaged nearly 26 points a game on a 60 TS%.

But like it has been for every great shooter that has preceded him, the bad streaks always seem to last twice as long as the good ones — just ask Klay Thompson.

Perhaps Steve Kerr will have some things up his sleeve to try to get Curry into rhythm early. Either way, I wouldn’t bet against him breaking the Splash dam sooner than later.

Sylvia Browne Predicts

A stunning 112-105 win by the Warriors that doesn’t bleed into overtime because I have work early the next morning.