HOUSTON — No regular season game usually means all that much for a couple rivals that played seven games in the Western Conference finals last season.
Therefore no body WIShed to jump into any grand conclusions after the Golden State Warriors held on for a 106-104 triumph Wednesday within the Houston Rockets, a team who has established itself within the previous two seasons since the two-time defending champions’ primary challengers.
“We done played them enough times at which we know us, and we know them.”
There isalso, though, a 6-foot-11, 270-pound wild card in the equation which wasn’t around for the West finals this past year. Nor was DeMarcus Cousins designed for your Warriors’ first two meetings against the Rockets this season, while he was still recovering from the torn Achilles tendon which made it easy for Golden State to bring an allstar big man for the citizen’s exception. And he was a responsibility in the Warriors’ Feb. 2 3 loss into the Rockets, a nonfactor offensively and chose defensively.
However, the version of Cousins that revealed up into the Toyota Center on Wednesday is capable of shifting the dynamic of a playoff series, particularly against the under sized Rockets. This was by far the most useful”Boogie” has been for the Warriors, setting season highs with 27 points and seven assists, repeatedly bullying the Rockets over the block.
Simply speaking, Cousins was equally as dominant as he has been since before his injury, which he suffered in the final minute of a triple double performance last January in which he helped the New Orleans Pelicans hands Houston its first loss once the Rockets’ celebrity trio — Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela — has been healthy.
“He just played with probably the most complete game since he’s been here,” said Klay Thompson, whose 30 points comprised three layups and a 3-pointer off feeds out of Cousins. “after all I was getting wideopen looks from his passing skill. He adds a completely different dimension to our team.
“You watched what they can do with us tonight.”
When Cousins settled to get a one-piece handle Golden State, lots of folks guessed he could possibly be a remedy to the Rockets’ switch-intensive defensive strategy that often baited the Warriors to relying on isolation instead of these on average beautiful ball movement. Good luck asking a shield to maintain Cousins from feasting in the paint.
However, the Rockets have scrapped much of these changing due to various employees. Cousins did the vast majority of his damage Wednesday against Capela, however, Houston’s centre didn’t seem too concerned after the Warriors’ only win on the Rockets in 2013.
“for all of us, he’s perhaps not the major focus as we are actually trying to shoot away 3s and create them dent in the paint” Capela explained. “therefore [he] did a good job and I’m not focused on that.”
D’Antoni also said that bodily playoff book center Nene would be able to make it tougher for Cousins to control down low, making your decision to rest Nene on Wednesday somewhat curious.
“I really don’t believe anybody can stop me 1 on 1, period,” said Cousins, that had been 11-of-16 from the area. “You can place those you need on me, frankly .”
Cousins was not a focal point of the Rockets’ defensive gameplan despite Kevin Durant out because of a sprained right ankle. For Cousins, that’s sort of the beauty of mixing with a team that has arguably as much offensive fire power as any in NBA history.
The downside to that: Cousins has regularly been an offensive afterthought from the two months he has been playing with the Warriors, as they’ve fought to figure out approaches to feature the kind of low-post weapon they’ve never had.
“I have to learn how to make utilize of him better. I presumed we used him better tonight. He did a marvelous job of merely getting down on the block and controlling the game down “
According to Secondly Spectrum, the Warriors got Cousins the ball 18 post-ups, the next most by any player during Kerr’s five seasons. He’d 64 total touches, creating 43 points — that the 0.67 points created each touch has been Cousins’ most useful in just about any game within the previous two seasons.
The Warriors’ crime hummed using Cousins as a hub having an offensive evaluation of 118.3 within his 32 minutes. And Houston was unable to pick on Cousins on the opposite end (104.9 defensive rating), as he spent the nighttime beating PJ Tucker.
“It’s obviously the normal season and far more work , however, I think that the way he played the entire minutes he was on the market, you knew where No. 0 is at all times.”
And, unlike once the Warriors last watched the Rockets, you can envision Cousins being a push in the event the rivals meet again May.