Draymond Green at center gives Warriors wrinkle necessary to beat Rockets

ProBasketballTalk

After the Warriors’ 110-106 Game 1 over the Rockets, both coaches were asked about continuing to use small-ball lineups throughout the series.

“The one thing I can tell you is that both teams like to play small,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.

Speak for yourself.

“No,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said. “I hope that Dwight is healthy and we can stay big. I like us playing when we play big. We didn’t have that option tonight with Dwight out.”

The Rockets didn’t show much against the Warriors’ small units with Dwight Howard, who’s battling injury.

Golden State outscored Houston 47-29 in 16 minutes with Draymond Green at center. When Howard was in, it was 12-2 Warriors in three minutes.

In his final six possessions against the Warriors’ small lineup, Howard committed three turnovers, missed a shot and got strongly boxed out by Green after two other Rockets missed.

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Dwight Howard on Game 2: “Hopefully I can play”

ProBasketballTalk

[nbcsports_video src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/7eUVvOcSwXU?rel=0 width=620 height=349]

It happened almost exactly halfway through the first quarter: Josh Smith tried to post up Klay Thompson, spun to the middle, and put up and awkward shot as he fell — right into Dwight Howard’s knee.

Howard left the game and went back to the Rockets’ locker room, but returned by the end of the first quarter.

However, he was never the same — he didn’t move as well, and the Warriors took advantage. Because of Howard Houston led the points in the paint battle 20-6 after the first quarter. The last three quarters the Warriors won the points in the paint race 44-32. What’s more, the injury allowed the Warriors to play small, with Draymond Green at the five, which was the most effective lineup for Golden State. The Warriors went on to win 110-106 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Howard’s status for…

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