After being on the receiving end of the full force of the Golden State Warriors’ firepower, MVP frontrunner James Harden was quick to quell any belief that the Houston Rockets are feeling the tremendous pressure of a win-or-go-home Game 7 against the defending NBA champions.
On the heels of their 115-86 Game 6 defeat in which they were outscored by the Warriors by 39 points in the second half, Harden did not appear fazed at all.
"There's no pressure. It's an opportunity that we all are excited to be a part of." – @JHarden13 on Game 7 in Houston#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/wMu8YXJBGx
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 27, 2018
The 6-foot-5 combo guard implied that his team remains calm and collected and that they are very much looking forward to the prospect of having the do-or-die game on their home floor come Monday night. Having ended the regular season with an NBA-best 65 wins against 17 losses, the Rockets hold home court advantage against the Warriors.
Both teams are in unfamiliar territory. Despite being in the playoffs for the sixth-straight season, this is only the second time the Rockets have gone as far as the Western Conference Finals. They accomplished the same feat in the 2014-15 season in which they were handily defeated by the Warriors in the series 4-1. Should they succeed in stopping the Warriors on Monday night, this will be the first NBA Finals appearance for the franchise since 1995.
For the Warriors, it will be the first time they will be conceding home court advantage for a Game 7 after leading the league in wins in the three previous seasons prior to this year. Oracle Arena in Oakland is considered by many as the loudest in the entire NBA so it will be interesting to see how the Dubs perform without their sixth man in the most important game of this series.