The NBA Playoffs are in full swing and the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are battling it out in the first round. The Rockets got off to a great start, winning the first two games by double digits. On Saturday the Thunder fought hard to win game 3 to get themselves back in the series. James Harden has been playing well in the bubble and with Russell Westbrook still out, with a quad injury, other players have stepped up big time. Specifically, Jeff Green.
Monday night, Chris Paul and the Thunder squad rallied to win game 4 and tie up the series. The Rockets started the second half with a bang, hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer. Nine in a row. Then, just as quickly as their luck rolled in, it rolled out and they only made 3 of their last 23 3-point attempts. That gave the Thunder a chance to come storming back and win the game.
With the series tied up 2-2 it now becomes a race to see who will win the next 2 out of 3 games.
The “live by the 3, die by the 3” style of play that the Rockets have adopted seem to be their greatest asset and biggest downfall. Injuries have played a factor in lineup and without a doubt, Westbrook’s contagious energy would make quite the impact if he were on the court with his team.
Post Game 4 loss, Harden summarized the surprising turn of events as the Rockets “relaxing” and the Thunder “gaining confidence.”
He went on to say that, “…we strayed away from it [what the Rockets do] on both ends of the ball obviously. So, we don’t score the basketball [and] we don’t get back defensively, they score. They go on their run. Obviously teams are going to make runs but it’s the way they made their run. We weren’t getting our shots that we want offensively and defensively; we weren’t sticking to our principals…so it was a disaster at both ends.”
Fans will have to wait and see what adjustments the team makes before game 5 Wednesday night in the bubble.