Games 1 and 2 showed us the best and worst of the Warriors and Rockets


Games 1 and 2 showed us the best and worst of the Warriors and Rockets

Well, you know what they say – a series hasn’t truly begun until the home team beats the hell out of the best team.
In other words, with Houston’s merciless 127-105 pummeling of Golden State in Wednesday’s second game of the Western Conference Finals, we now have the germ of the series that was advertised back around Christmas – the two best teams bringing the best out of each other, and in doing so bringing out the worst in each other as well.
In Game 1, the Warriors showed the nation a Houston team that one could easily be disgusted by, so the Rockets did the same thing to Golden State in Game 2, becoming the intrepid, adventurous, arrogant (in the competitive way) and fearless team they clearly were not two nights earlier. The Warriors were slower, more hesitant, and eventually more frustrated and chippy, descending into losing hockey team territory near the end with cheap fouls by first Draymond Green and then Kevin Durant.
Conversely, just as James Harden’s 41 points in Game 1 turned out to be so many empty calories, so too was Durant’s 38 in Game 2. Teams that boast that they are brilliantly constructed ensemble pieces shouldn’t fall so easily into one-man point-collectors.
Houston’s offense broke quickly and smoothly, giving up the static isolation-heavy ball of Game 1 and assembling a more aggressive and fluid show. Golden State’s offense, on the other hand, just broke. They shot poorly, they never created a rhythm, never made a worrisome run and took the beating they so richly deserved. The final margin of 26 points represented the ninth time in their last 10 playoff losses that they have lost by double digits, and the average in those 10 games is an absurd 19.4 points.
But if helps, they went on to win five of the previous eight games that followed those routs, so they should not be fazed by being embarrassed so thoroughly.
Most important for those of you who came for a long and tense series, you can at least say you have seen each team at its best and at its worst, thus leaving Games 3 through 7 (if the deities are on their jobs) to find their own balance – one that better represents the idealized versions of both the Rockets and Warriors we convinced ourselves we would get when this series began.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Oakland -- Sunday, May 20th at 5pm
Game 4 Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm

DeMarcus Cousins to return to Warriors' lineup after two-game absence

DeMarcus Cousins to return to Warriors' lineup after two-game absence

OAKLAND - Following a two-game absence, DeMarcus Cousins is expected to play in Thursday night's home matchup against the Pacers, according to the team. 

Cousins, who injured his foot in Saturday's win over the Thunder, had an MRI on Sunday afternoon that didn't reveal any damage. Prior to the injury, Cousins was playing some of his best basketball as a Warrior, finishing with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against the Rockets last week. 

Without Boogie, the Warriors went 1-1 to close their most recent four-game road trip. Cousins' absence also forced the team to bring Andrew Bogut into the lineup earlier than expected. 

[RELATED: Bogut shares Klay's reaction seeing him for first time again]

Cousins is averaging 15.6 points, 3.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds this season. 

Joel Embiid tells Steph Curry he's thinking of creating new nickname

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Joel Embiid tells Steph Curry he's thinking of creating new nickname

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6 P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Steph Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors. Joel Embiid plays for the Philadelphia 76ers.

But they are teammates off the court.

Back in October, we learned that Curry helped Under Armour sign Embiid to an endorsement deal.

And on Wednesday morning, Embiid was the guest on the latest episode of Curry's YouTube series, "5 Minutes From Home."

The 76ers played the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Jan. 31. The night before, the superstars took a ride together over to Ayesha Curry's restaurant, International Smoke.

Shortly before they got out of the car, Curry brought up Embiid's nickname, "The Process." And then Embiid said something that is surely going to cause a stir in Philly.

"'The Process' is never gonna be over. You gotta win a championship and when you win a championship, it starts over. So 'The Process' is always gonna go ... I do like it, mainly because of the history of how we got here. So that's why I like it.

"But I've actually been thinking about, you know, creating something else. I'm tired of 'The Process.' I'm tired of it."


Embiid's Twitter banner simply reads: "THE PROCESS," and his Twitter bio simply says: "PROCESSING.........................."

This is about to break the Internet for sure.

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