Houston Rockets: Three things team must do to beat Warriors in Game 3

Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Chris Paul (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Chris Paul (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets could be facing a 3-0 deficit if they don’t get it together tonight. Here are three things they must do to beat the Warriors. Look.

Houston Rockets fans — it has been nearly four days since the last game of this series was played and it has felt like an eternity.  In one of the more competitive games this season — and for this series for that matter — they still ended up with the short end of the stick, falling to the Warriors 115-109.

What can the Houston Rockets learn from their defeat?


Are they still alive in this series?


Will they blow out the Warriors on their home court tonight?

Likely not.

Nonetheless, and I can’t stress this enough, the Houston Rockets are in a must-win situation tonight as it will be extremely difficult to overcome any more losses in this series.  The Warriors will smell blood in the water and they will put the final finishing move on their prey if this team loses tonight.

I don’t think that’s going to happen but with James Harden‘s eyes looking like he’d had just completed a heavyweight boxing match, we can only hope our MVP can put up the performance of a lifetime to will this team to victory.

But as things meander to tip-off tonight, here are three things to keep in mind in regard to what this team needs to do be successful in Game 3.

Here they are:

1) Minimize the offensive rebounding

I was taken aback at how prolific the Warriors were in-tune to their offensive rebounding.  As the Warriors started crossing double-digit territory before the end of the first half, it was quite troubling to see how bad the Houston Rockets were at controlling the Warriors’ ability to get the second chance to score.

The Warriors had 14 offensive rebounds at the half but the Houston Rockets shored things up and allowed only four the rest of the game for a total of 18.  They cannot let that happen again and it will be up to Clint Capela, Nene Hilario, P.J. Tucker and even Kenneth Faried to do what they can to not allow that to happen.

If it does, it certainly will be a long night for this team.

2) Keep the turnovers as low as possible

The Houston Rockets ended up with 17 turnovers in Game 2 and a lot of them could’ve been avoided if it wasn’t for the plethora of bad passes made.  In such a fast-paced contact sport, accuracy is everything and I think they sometimes Harden, as well as Chris Paul, try to fit things in the tightest of windows, even if there’s nothing there.

The ball did move noticeably well and the team did make their shots but it’s all about ensuring these guys find the open man while constantly being in motion on offense.  I cringe when I start seeing more isolation plays being run because likely three things are going to happen:  a turnover, the ball handler dribbling out the shot clock or if the ball is in Harden’s hands, he miraculously nails one of his signature step-back jumpers.

If this Rockets‘ team is able to win the turnover battle, this matchup will play successfully into their hands.

3) Bench production must remain high — particularly from Danuel House

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As I had talked about in the series against the Utah Jazz, the bench production for this team has been mighty fickle and not everybody has been locked in.  The only consistent performers on the bench have been either Austin Rivers or Gerald Green.  It’s quite surprising how unproductive Danuel House has been, as he’s one of the key players we’re counting on to be successful in order to help the team win.

House has just three points, three rebounds while shooting 16.6 percent from the field and 20 percent from three in the 25 minutes he’s played so far.  He had 20 minutes of action in Game 1 but just five minutes in Game 2.  He’s got to get his head on straight and those minutes will increase.  He’s a talented player that fits well with the Rockets but I think it’s a matter of him finding his niche in this series.  Hopefully, he’ll do that tonight.

So these are the three things the Rockets must do, do you agree?

Let’s hope for the best.

The Rockets take on the Warriors tonight as the series shifts to Toyota Center for the next two games.

Next. James Harden's points creation prowess for his teammates. dark

Their tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT. 

The game will be televised on ABC and broadcast on SportsRadio 740 AM (KTRH) and La Ranchera 850 AM (KEYH) in Spanish.