OAKLAND, California. – The worst scenario for the NBA, their fans and the game itself is that the series of the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets becomes a result, he said, he said.  This is a series rematch that was in preparation for a year, perhaps the series that will determine the champion of the season, as was the case last season. History and heritage are at stake – it's that kind of series. Then there are the short-term, especially the implications of the free agency.
But the acting angle could be inevitable.
The rockets have a strategy that permeates the limits of the rules, while the warriors are just as smart as any team in history. They are both fantastic at what they do. And both are relentlessly in office ̵
No one wanted Game 1 – an ugly yet highly competitive and entertaining opener that would win in a 104 ended -100 warriors – Defined by calls or non-calls. But mostly it was like that. There may be no end in sight.
It is easy to forget that there are always three teams on the ground. Ideally, one of them remains anonymous and forgotten. The stakes and the nature of these teams make this the hardest.
When referees prepare for games, they go like film about trends and tendencies. It is well known that the rockets have a preference for fouls on 3-pointers. This is part of their attack. James Harden hit 95 fouls 3 points this season. He is one of the best in the history of the game.
It was clear that part of Golden State's plan is to push the Houston 3-point shooters. The Houston Plan envisages 3-point shooters turning their bodies and tearing their arms into their defenders. Both teams are good at it.
Here it was. It was 10 seconds and the missiles were under it. Harden, one of the biggest ever to cast a foul, needs a 3-pointer to crack the game. Draymond Green, one of the great defenders of this era, tries to challenge it.
Green enters Harden's area. Harden's legs bend towards Green and he squirts to the ground. Two officers, Courtney Kirkland and Josh Tiven, stare and do not call.
"Call the game what it's called, and that's it," Harden said. "And I'm going to live with the results, but most of all, we all know what happened to Kawhi [Leonard] a few years ago – that can change the whole series."
Harden refers to Leonard, who is undercut by Zaza Pachulia in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in 2017. This is an indication of the stakes. This game changed the game, the series and maybe the champion of the season.
But then you hear Green.
"If you land 3 feet from the ball's tee, that's not my problem." Green said. "I've already been fooled by James on a James 3-pointer."
But here's the thing. After this crucial moment, which was the culmination of an afternoon of kitty-and-mouse games, Chris Paul took the offensive rebound with a cunning backdoor sprint to get the color. He sent it back to Harden to tie again. But Harden was out of the game. Put there, well, circumstance. Call it a foul, call it a flop.
In a perfect world, he would get another chance and Green another chance to stop him. However, this is Rocket Warriors from 2019. Instead, Paul got stuck and ran out over Klay Thompson, triggering another intense non-call sequence that led to another technical foul and Paul was ejected. In the heat of the moment, Paul might have bumped Tiven, another thing the league office should check.
After the game, Rockets coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni said in the locker room, what matters is a lot of space a shooter should get when he takes off to a jumper. He knows the chapter and the verse, including the rights of the defender. It is a constant topic as it is a big part of his work.
D & # 39; Antoni said the missiles had 20 more free throws.
Meanwhile, they whispered in the Warriors dressing room about how the Rockets manage to attack Kevin Durant with two hands when he drives to the basket, a violation of the rules. Durant is so dominant with his size and shooting skills that once he has set up the ball, he can not stop it. Therefore, the teams try everything to prevent him from getting this ball over his head.
The Warriors thought Durant should have been much more on the line.
This was just the game 1 arguments. Game 2 may not be the 3-point landing foul. Harden's ability to make contact with the basket. He is an absolute master. Or Durant's use of the rip-move, he's so used to guys trying to beat the ball before he raises it, that he's an expert.
Harden finished the game with 14 free throws. Durant was 15.
This is awesome. It should not be regulated that way.
But here, Paul barks at the officials and is thrown. Then D & # 39; Antoni yells. Green claims he did wrong there. Durant chirps.
They are all so good at what they do. They are all so smart. They do everything for the next call, the next game.
In a rivalry that is so competitive, with such a narrow margin of error and one or two seams of bad blood, this may need to be accepted. The search for an advantage between these two teams is relentless, it is part of their DNA.
"That's just the nature of the game we play," said Green. "Referees are an inaccurate science, so that's what it is."
Guess like that.