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Should Warriors be 7-point dogs at Rockets in game 6, even without Kevin Durant?

Golden State has a 3-2 series lead but no KD as they return to Houston for game six.

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
Steph Curry’s fourth quarter helped secure a win for the Warriors in game five.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

A road team has still not won a game in this series and there’s no way it will happen in game six now that the Golden State Warriors will not have Kevin Durant when they travel to Texas to take on a Houston Rockets team facing elimination, right?

Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

When: Friday May 10th, 2019 at 6:00pm PST

Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

TV: ESPN

Line: Warriors +7, o/u 213.5

Injuries: Danuel House Jr. (toe) and Kenneth Faried (personal) are questionable for the Rockets.

Kevin Durant (calf), DeMarcus Cousins (quadricep) and Damian Jones (pectoral) are out for the Warriors.

Houston Rockets

James Harden, Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets had a third quarter lead in game five before Kevin Durant went out of the game, but could not capitalize in the fourth quarter of their 99-104 loss.

The Rockets are led by James Harden with 31.3 points and 6.8 assists per game, Clint Capela with 10.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game and Chris Paul with 2.4 steals per game in the playoffs so far.

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
James Harden and Chris Paul did not do much in the fourth quarter of their game five loss.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Houston is 47-42-3 against the spread (ATS), 39-47-6 to the over/under, 24-16-2 ATS as a home favorite, 15-16-1 ATS after a loss, 28-26-3 ATS with one day off, 21-32-4 to the over/under with one day off, 15-16-1 to the over/under after a loss and 20-19-3 to the over/under as a home favorite this season.

The Rockets have an offensive rating of 110.5, defensive rating of 106.4, pace factor of 96.9 and are 7-3 ATS and 3-6-1 to the over/under in the playoffs overall, 4-1 ATS and 3-2 to the over/under in this series

Golden State Warriors

Following Kevin Durant’s exit to injury, the Warriors rallied like it was 2015, paced by offense from the Splash Brothers and solid defensive effort from the whole team, grinding out a tense fourth quarter to hold serve at home.

The Warriors are led by Kevin Durant with 34.2 points per game, Draymond Green with 9.2 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per game and Klay Thompson with 1.5 steals per game in these playoffs.

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
Klay Thompson led the Warriors in scoring in game five.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Dubs are 39-53-1 ATS, 45-48 to the over/under, 26-36-1 ATS after a win, 4-4 ATS as an away underdog, 24-30 ATS with one day of rest, 3-5 to the over/under as an away underdog, 23-31 to the over/under on one day of rest and 34-29 to the over/under after a win this season.

Golden State has an offensive rating of 117.8, defensive rating of 111.9, pace factor of 99.3 and are 4-7 ATS, 7-4 to the over/under in the playoffs so far, 1-4 ATS and 3-2 to the over/under in this series

Analysis

Kevin Durant is considered by some to be the greatest basketball player in the world and his impending absence has completely changed the complexion of this series and the entire NBA playoff landscape.

Everyone hopes first and foremost that KD’s health is not in serious jeopardy and that he returns this season, but if he is gone for an extended period of time, what does that mean for Golden State’s chances in this series and for another title?

There is no doubt that losing KD is a significant blow to the Dubs that adversely effects their chances to win any playoff game they play without him and therefore their chance at another title.

But never say never.

While KD is an all-time talent, let’s not forget that the rest of this Warriors team is not chopped liver.

Golden State still has the 2015 Championship core trio that includes a former two-time MVP, former defensive player of the year and All-Star who owns the NBA record for the most three-pointers made in a game and points scored in a quarter, and if they can revitalize the original ‘Strength In Numbers’ mentality and playing style, they still have a chance.

We have seen the Dubs congeal and tighten up their play when they have gone without KD this past year, including their only regular season win against the Rockets in Houston as four-point underdogs and a win at the Oklahoma City Thunder as a two-point underdog.

In Durant’s first season with the Dubs, Kevin went out in February and the Warriors ratcheted up their defensive intensity which led to a winning streak characterized by holding opponents to an average of 99.9 points during the streak.

We expect the Warriors to try and compensate for the loss of KD with more defensive effort, just like we are anticipating the possibility of the playoff pressure getting to James Harden and Chris Paul.

Criticism has been directed at James Harden for wearing down towards the end of playoff series due to fatigue. We don’t know if this is true but do honestly struggle to remember when James Harden or Chris Paul have come up clutch in the NBA playoffs. Now the Rockets will have increased scrutiny and expectations to beat a Warriors team that will be playing without KD for the remainder of this series.

In game seven of the 2018 Western Conference Finals, the Rockets only scored 92-points at home and set an NBA playoff record with 27 consecutively missed three point shots. And Houston did not have to face KD when they only scored 104 points at home in a loss to the Warriors two months ago.

Expecting more intense defense from the Warriors and more tense shooting from the Rockets in an elimination game at home, we think seven points is too many to give the Dubs here and locked in Warriors +8 when it was available, and also lean toward the Rockets team total finishing under 110.5 points in game six.

Poll

What is your best bet for Warriors at Rockets in game 6 on 5/10/19?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Warriors +7
    (262 votes)
  • 18%
    Rockets -7
    (89 votes)
  • 9%
    Over 213.5
    (47 votes)
  • 18%
    Under 213.5
    (89 votes)
487 votes total Vote Now