Final Game Of The NBA Conference Semi Finals
There was no NBA Playoff game on Saturday and if you missed the action and thrill of big game basketball then don’t worry, because the NBA is back in action today. Okay, it then takes another day off tomorrow but when you think about the magnitude of the game taking place on Sunday the 17th of May, you will understand why plenty of people are feeling rather 3excited about it all. This is a Game 7 showdown, a winner takes all clash to get to the Western Conference Final and it is very much up for grabs.
The game is being played out in Houston with the Rockets welcoming the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Houston Rockets
The Rockets win that forces this series into a Game 7 showdown has left many Rockets fans of a certain age dreaming of previous teams. The team won the NBA title in 1994 and in 1995, and they last made the Conference final back in 1997. This sense of history is clung to by many fans as hope that they will return to the top of the game once again. The Rockets face a Clippers side who have never reached their Conference final, so there will be a new story written at the end of this game or they will be a new chapter added to a story that has been quiet for far too long.
The Rockets may have been trailing by 19 points on Thursday night, and trailing the series 3-1 at one point, but they pulled off a massive turnaround from the end of the third quarter. The Rockets outscored the home team by 51-20, making it a fun evening for all of the Rockets fans looking in. It was certainly a fun night for Kevin McHale, the coach of the Rockets. As a player, he won three titles with the Celtics so he knows what it takes to win big basketball games but he spoke about the Game 7 showdown and he insists there is no magic formula for success.
It’s Game 7. It’s fun man. That’s what you live for … there’s a joy and a calm that comes over you when you do something really, really well and you’re doing something you’ve done since you’ve been a little kid.
Whether the Clippers agree with the idea of fun at the moment remains to be seen. They have dropped two games in a row and as this is their third semi-final in four years, they know that questions will be asked of them if they do not see the job out this time. Blake Griffin understands the pressure his team are under and he spoke to assorted media, saying;
We’ve had two opportunities and we haven’t closed it out. You have to give them credit, they’ve been playing better than us the last two games and wanted it more clearly. So we’ve got an opportunity and we’ve got to take advantage.
You could argue that the Rockets just wanted it more, and it was a do or die game for them, while the Clippers knew that they always had another game left in them. This time, it is do or die for both teams, and the Clippers will need to replicate that spirit if they want to be remembered for a strong season.
James Harden was under the weather in Game 6
Most people look towards James Harden but in Game 6, he was far from his best. The player was battling an illness and he only grabbed 23 points before he sat on the bench for most of the fourth quarter. It was left to players like Josh Smith and Corey Brewster to pull the Rockets back into the game and the series, and Harden is delighted with that. He is also raring to go and is looking to help his team grab a win in this game. He spoke to assorted media, saying;
It would mean a lot. Just starting from the first day I got here, trying to make the playoffs and trying to build this franchise back to where it needs to be. Now we’re in a position to do really good things so … it’s going to be a great opportunity, a great test for us.
The Clippers have a 63-32 record for the season, including a 29-18 record on the road, and a 6-4 record in their 10 most recent games. They face a Rockets side who also have won 63 games this season. The Houston team has a 63-30 record, which includes a 35-12 record at home and a 6-4 record away from home. With respect to average points for, the Clippers lead 106.9 to 104.8 and for average points against, the Clippers lead 100.9 to 101.9.
This will be a tight one and taking the Clippers with a -2.5 handicap, at odds of 1.90, could provide you with a perfect end to a week of NBA basketball betting action. Bet Now!