Houston Rockets: Three reasons why there could be trouble in Clutch City

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 29: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 29: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: Stephen Curry /

Big matchup at stake

If there’s one team that should pass the torch soon, it’s the Golden State Warriors. They have beaten us in two playoff series to this point and quite possibly a third, had we met them last season. But this season has seen a team that is right up to their level and the Warriors are feeling threatened.

Well, maybe they aren’t because like the rest of America and the world, they feel they’re the best team and everyone wants to see them in the finals and not Houston because they’ve been the top dogs lately. So they’re starting to act complacent and think all is good. Houston will lose and they will win. But there is a bigger problem for this potential match up and that is the health of Stephen Curry.

Steph Infection

No pun intended, but Steph Curry hasn’t been 100 percent lately. He’s got an MCL injury, which head coach Steve Kerr has stated that Curry would miss the first round of the playoffs. This is a big deal because Curry is the one that runs their offense. Who’s going to feed Durant for an inside jumper or kick it out to Klay Thompson for three?

Sure the Warriors can win even if Curry’s not there. But if Curry isn’t capable of helping out in the playoffs, then the Warriors might not repeat. You lose your best shooter with an injury and you have to win without him? As much as Curry wasn’t effective in all three NBA Finals appearances, he’s still a presence on the court. If he’s not playing, then Golden State will have to prove questions wrong. That is where another yeah but factor comes into play here.

Another Asterisk?

We’re probably the only team in NBA history according to the basic-minded basketball geniuses that have an asterisk by our titles. That asterisk is because Michael Jordan wasn’t playing then. If Jordan plays, the Bulls win eight straight they say. The Rockets couldn’t get out of the west. Well, we know the truth again.

But here comes another potential asterisk by some. Curry doesn’t play in the first round and the Warriors lose. They won’t, but assuming they do lose in the first round, this is not good for us. If we win a championship without playing the Warriors, that’s totally sweet because it’s another ring for us. But there are those who might say the reason we won was that Golden State wasn’t playing us.

People will try to find excuses whether they’re true or not, but personally, I would much rather win a championship while beating Golden State in the playoffs just to prove the naysayers wrong. I’m down for winning a title anyway we can. But it would be sweeter to eliminate the Warriors in the playoffs. Then, we’ll have to worry about an Eastern Conference opponent, which might be Boston, Toronto, or Cleveland.

We beat Golden State and get a championship, we won’t have to hear about an asterisk and our run of glory is still there. But yet, there’s a third factor here.