The Rockets will entertain the Timberwolves at Toyota Center in Houston TX for the first game of the playoff series.
Now, the Rockets are without a doubt the best team in the NBA this season judging by the regular season. Will that carry on thru the playoffs? I certainly hope so and definitely think so. Why? Because what D'Antoni and the Rockets management built this season is designed and engineered to go all the way till the Western Conference Finals facing the Warriors and beyond. So far the plan has been working perfectly and the Rockets have ambitiously taken on the season playing honest basketball most of it making good cash for it's followers.
The Timberwolves - in some sense - resemble the Rockets when it comes to the way of thinking about building the team that would go far in the playoffs. Only, not this season. Injury riddled Minnesota has been built around fragile players that also have too great of an ego like Butler and Rose. Although, in Minnesota everyone projects positive attitude and their fans are convinced that with Butler returning for the playoffs and Derrick Rose healthy enough to stand on his feet will be enough to show some opposition tot he Rockets - that obviously isn't the case. Actually, the media and the so called "experts" have been all day along convincing us to take the Timberwolves and hope the miracle will happen. With Harden and D'Antoni giving up all they built during the season? With Capela not giving 100% of himself each game? And much more?
And, if the Rockets needed some motivational speech at the locker room before the game - all D'Antoni will have to do is to quote Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns who did say what he did to motivate himself and the team he plays for, but did not really think what his speech will do to the opposition ego. Judge for yourselves. Quoting Towns:
"We expect nothing but greatness from ourselves. We didn't wake up this morning like, 'Hey, we're going to go to Houston.' We woke up saying we're going to go to Houston and get the job done. We put pressure on ourselves because we want to be so great, we want to be the best team possible that we can be. I think we're going to do fine. At the end of the day we don't need anyone to tell us their opinions of how the series is going to go. We have confidence and we talk to each other. That's all we need is each other in this moment."
Nice that Towns thinks that way and I welcome that kind of competitive thinking. But, I can only imagine the Rockets reading that...
The series will go on as long as the Rockets would want it to go. It all depends on the Rockets. They swept the healthy then Minnesota and won by a double digit average.
The line for this opened at the Rockets -9.5 and is now up to -11.
These are series and the Rockets won't cover all four games. May be they will, but, I do not assume they will. This is a perfect system play on the Rockets covering.