In Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals the Houston Rockets took a couple of themes from Methodman's classic Release Yo' Delf track. First off, they released the hounds. P.J. Tucker, Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon can be some straight up hoop dogs when they are involved in the offense. It allows them to get a feel for the game and gets the engine running to man up on defense. All the isolation ball the Rockets played in Game 1 stifled these guys and kept the dogs on the leash. The other piece the Rockets took from that seminal track was the ball movement. They kept it moving. (Keep it movin', you know we keep it movin') The Rockets looked like the Golden State Warriors the way the ball flew around. The Dubs were scrambling all over the court trying to get back into position and the result was open shots for Tucker, Ariza and Gordon. Tucker made an incredible 8 of 9 shots including 5-6 on 3 pointers for 22 points. Eric Gordon had 27 points off the bench, shooting 53% including 6-9 on 3s. Trevor Ariza had 19 points on 7-9 shooting. Keep it movin' Rockets. Release Yo Delf.
The Warriors, on the other hand, were some biters. They took Houston's whole style and duplicated it by losing like the Rockets did in Game 1: Iso ball. What a role reversal! Steph Curry just couldn't get it going, although he never stopped trying to. He could not make a 3, going 1-8 from downtown, so he attacked the hoop and made a few tough finishes at the rim. It still only added up to 16 points on 7-19 shooting with only 1 foul shot and none of it came within the flow of the offense. It was Steph forcing plays to try to get going, while usually the offense gets into a flow off of his shot-making. When the ball did move, it ended up in the hands of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shawn Livingston or Nick Young, the only other players that logged over 15 minutes for the Dubs. (Except Kevin Durant) And they couldn't make shots. Klay went 3-11 for 8 points. Draymond was 2-5 for 4 points. Iggy was 2-4 for 5 points. Livingston only took 3 shots and finished with 5 points, while Swaggy P managed 6 points on 6 shots. That leaves KD. You knew he would score somewhere in the high 30's and he did, finishing with 38 on isolation-heavy basketball. He didn't have much of a choice, given the way the game played out. And that is how the Warriors became the Rockets. They bit their style. Biters.