Live by the three, and die by the three. That seems to be the mantra of the Houston Rockets. A look at the series stat sheet reveals that James Harden, the leading candidate for the MVP award, was the one who was most affected by the Rockets’ playstyle.
As observed by Reddit user londonpuppy, Harden had set the record for most 3-pointers missed in an NBA playoff series with a total of 59. This is 11 more than any other player in a single playoff series.
In a critical Game 7, Harden was just 2-of-13 from downtown. The rest of his team, too, was struggling, especially in the final quarter as they were desperately mounting a comeback. As a team, the Rockets shot 7-of-44 from downtown.
Their thin offensive playbook — which consists of either layups or 3-pointers — became a liability. It was evident that it was not their night from downtown. Yet they still threw up shot after shot — most of which missed.
The Warriors, on the other hand, showcased composure and their sophisticated offensive playbook. While the Rockets were bricking from beyond the arc, they executed their plays to perfection.
Game 1 of NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be on May 31, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET. Will the Warriors repeat as champions and claim their third title in four years? Or will LeBron James claim his fourth ring?