ESPN generates highest-rated Western Conference semifinals telecast ever with Warriors-Rockets Game 6
📺2019 #NBAPlayoffs across ESPN/ABC up 3% in overnights.
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) May 11, 2019
The Warriors-Rockets series was highly competitive right from the get-go, but there were a lot of storylines in Game 6 that had fans glued to their TV sets. It was the first time in these playoffs that Golden State played without reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Of course, people wanted to see if Houston would be able to tie the series, especially when it held Steph Curry scoreless in the first half.
Many were skeptical about the ratings that the NBA Playoffs would get this season, especially since this is the first time since 2005 that four-time MVP LeBron James isn’t competing. Based on the results above, it looks like the postseason is doing just fine without him.
There have been several tightly contested games this year, but the Warriors-Rockets series was highly anticipated even before it started. Fans were already looking forward to it as early as the regular season because it has become one of the most intense rivalries over the past couple of years.
The Warriors have eliminated the Rockets in the playoffs four times over the past five seasons, but the latter had a great opportunity to end their slump in Game 6. They were at home, battling a shorthanded team whose second-best player has also struggled throughout the series.
It was a perfect setup for what could have been a comeback story.
Houston failed to capitalize, and Golden State is headed for its fifth consecutive Western Conference Finals series.