Houston Rockets

Warriors-Rockets was 'actually the NBA Finals,' Skip Bayless declares

Warriors-Rockets was 'actually the NBA Finals,' Skip Bayless declares

Are you excited to watch Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night?

Don't be. According to one talking head, you already watched it.

Huh?

Fox Sports' Skip Bayless believes the Warriors-Rockets second-round NBA playoff series was the actual Finals.

Golden State defeated Houston in six games in that series to advance to the Western Conference finals, where it swept the Portland Trail Blazers.

But again, it was just the second round of the playoffs. It was an entertaining series, but it was not the Finals.

Why would Bayless declare something so crazy?

Hmm. Let's see. He's a San Antonio Spurs fan, and he's mad at Kawhi Leonard for "quitting" on the Spurs last season and "forcing" a trade out of San Antonio to the Toronto Raptors.

[RELATED: McCollum, Bayless beef over analyst’s Kawhi hate]

There is one part of Skip's tweet we agree with, though: Steph Curry is the real MVP in the playoffs.

OK, now back to disagreeing with everything Bayless says.

Now, go ahead and enjoy the Warriors-Raptors NBA Finals. It's going to be fun, regardless of what Skip thinks.

NBA rumors: Rockets fire player development coach after loss to Warriors

NBA rumors: Rockets fire player development coach after loss to Warriors

The quest to dethrone the Warriors might have broken the Houston Rockets.

Houston has been eliminated by the Warriors in three of the last four seasons, and their loss in this year's second-round might force them to rethink a number of things.

The Rockets already have let assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik go and now have let go of player development assistant coach Irv Roland, The Athletic's Sham Charania reported Friday.

This is a stunning move, as Roland has been James Harden's trainer since 2016 and is very close with Chris Paul.

Speaking of the star-studded backcourt, Harden and Paul reportedly had a "tense exchange" after the Rockets' Game 6 loss to the Warriors.

[RELATED: Mike D'Antoni explains why Warriors are playing better without KD]

The Rockets have been obsessed with knocking off the Warriors, and it looks like another defeat has made them truly head back to the drawing board. 

Steph Curry recalls pregame atmosphere before Warriors-Rockets Game 6

Steph Curry recalls pregame atmosphere before Warriors-Rockets Game 6

When Kevin Durant went down with a strained calf during the third quarter of Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round NBA playoff series with the Houston Rockets, a number of people pushed the panic button for the two-time defending NBA champions. 

Steph Curry was in a horrible shooting slump and the Dubs' bench had been rendered almost unplayable against the team that is obsessed with taking them down.

But there was no panic from the battle-tested Warriors.

Instead, holding a three-games-to-two series lead, the Warriors rolled into Houston for Game 6 and brushed aside James Harden and Co. behind Curry's 33 second-half points.

The addition of Durant has made the Warriors almost unbeatable, and it's easy to forget that Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala led the Warriors to the 2015 title and 73 wins in 2016. 

So the Warriors felt no different heading into Game 6 in Houston, despite missing the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"It wasn't anybody having to go in and make a speech before practice or a game like, 'Alright, let's block out the noise, guys. Let's not listen to anybody,' " Curry said Friday after practice. "Nobody has to say that. It's like we just show up and play basketball."

That approach has served the Warriors well. 

After dispatching the Rockets, the Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals to advance to their third straight NBA Finals appearance.

[RELATED: Steph, KD right to be on message ahead of NBA Finals]

Durant is not expected to be available early in the NBA Finals, but the Warriors hope to get him back at some point in the championship round.

Until then, Curry, Thompson, Green and Iguodala will be tasked with finishing off another championship run.