Houston Astros wear Rockets gear for road trip

Shaq plays police chief for a day

That lineup had a relatively underwhelming regular season, but outscored the New Orleans Pelicans by an incredible 54 points in 54 minutes in the last series.

The only time the Warriors have lost the opening away contest in a playoff series came fewer than two weeks ago, when the Pelicans stomped Golden State, 119-100, in Game 3. Though the job usually goes to one of the organization's top assistants, DeMarco ranks behind at least four people - Mike Brown, Ron Adams, Jarron Collins and Bruce Fraser - on Kerr's staff. Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO SportsDesk debate.

Houston City Hall was lit red Sunday ahead of the start of the Houston Rockets' first Western Conference Finals game against the Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Riley: Yawn, another snoozer for the Warriors that'll end in five games. His thorough reports on upcoming opponents were an underrated factor behind Golden State's first National Basketball Association title in 40 years. It is during those sessions that the foundation is laid for Golden State's game plan. Over the past three seasons as a player-development coach, DeMarco has worked closely with guard Klay Thompson and forward/center Kevon Looney, among others. Golden State will demolish Houston. "I feel if the Rockets pull this off that they are the champs because I don't see anybody on the East Coast beating them". Playoffs come down to depth when the two starting fives are evenly matched and Houston offers a lot of firepower off the bench that golden State doesn't have.

D'Antoni was asked if he thinks the Warriors have seen a team as talented and unsafe as the Rockets are this season. It doesn't hurt that the Rockets have home court advantage too.

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The Houston Rockets have the best record in the league. Acquiring Durant meant sacrificing some depth, but it was well worth it. Durant's presence just creates spacing for the Warriors' offense to function.

The Warriors are the progenitors of a small line-up that doesn't quite play small. Nights are spent reviewing video from each of Houston's 10 playoff games, as well as its three regular-season matchups with Golden State. If the Warriors can contain Harden, then it's game over.

While the spotlight for Houston in this series is certainly MVP front-runner James Harden and fellow point guard Chris Paul, the Rockets insist that center Clint Capela is just as important to their success. Capela has the opportunity to make a name for himself if he can stay active in the paint against Golden State. The Warriors forced the most turnovers in the league past year on their way to the title but Houston has led the postseason in fewest turnovers per game.

"It's a must that you have to have (someone like him) against Golden State or they're going to get you", he said.

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