Posts Tagged ‘#NBAPlayoffs’

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James Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, is confident his Houston Rockets can dethrone the back-to-back champions.

The quest to prevent the Golden State Warriors from winning their third NBA title in a row begins on Sunday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

The Rockets have been itching to play the Warriors in the playoffs this season after Golden State bounced them in seven games in the Western Conference finals last season. When asked about the opportunity, Harden talked confidently about his squad.

“We’re a very confident group of guys. We’ve been that way the entire year,” Harden told reporters on Saturday. “We’re more than capable. We’re excited about the opportunity. We know the difficulties and the challenges that are going to come along that way, but we’re prepared for them.”

Harden explained that “every possession, every game” will be a chance to win, and that the Rockets will have to take advantage of that. But Harden said he also knows how “difficult” that will be.

The Rockets are healthy, happy and rolling, full of momentum after bouncing the Utah Jazz in the first round in five games.

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In less than a few hours before the Warriors begin the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, Golden State faces uncertainty as both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are questionable for Game 1 Sunday afternoon with ankle injuries.

“He’s okay,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said when asked about Thompson’s status Saturday afternoon. “He and Steph both came in this morning to get some treatment but I haven’t even spoken with [Warriors director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celebrini] today.”

While Curry – who rolled his ankle in of Friday’s 129-110 Game 6 victory against the Clippers – finished the game, Thompson left in the third quarter and had a very noticeable limp as he walked out of Staples Center on Friday night.

Throughout his career, Thompson has been a model of consistency. He missed just one game during the first three years of his NBA career and has never played fewer than 73 games in a season. In Game 1 of last year’s NBA Finals, Thompson went down with what looked to be a significant ankle sprain after colliding with Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith. He didn’t miss any games, though. and helped the Warriors to their second straight title.

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