Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors

In February, ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton went through a detailed statistical analysis of the Rockets, attempting to determine whether they’d become the biggest threat to the Warriors’ longstanding dominance. Here’s the key takeaway:authentic nfl jerseys cheap

“While the Warriors should probably still be favored in a playoff matchup because of their potential to tighten up their rotation and play harder when necessary, the gap between them and the Rockets no longer looks nearly as large as we expected before the season.nfl jerseys for cheapĀ  By virtue of their success at full strength, the Rockets have played their way into serious championship contention.”

The gap has closed since Pelton posted that article Feb. 27. While the Warriors have suffered numerous key injuries and continued to hemorrhage points on the defensive end, the Rockets have kept rolling toward the NBA’s best record. Since Feb. 28, Houston’s 9.6 net rating literally triples Golden State’s 3.2.38d293d6cecab58641b36fe098fd9581_crop_exact

Could that change when the Dubs are once again at full strength? Sure. Will it matter that they can “tighten up their rotation and play harder” cheap nfl jerseys during the Western Conference Finals? Of course.

But the Rockets can rely on their starters for more production, too. They’ll also have the luxury of continuity while Golden State attempts to rejigger the offense upon Stephen Curry’s return to the lineup. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll get to play the decisive Game 7 in front of their hometown cheap nfl authentic jerseys faithful at the Toyota Center, where they’re 30-6 with a 9.0 net rating.

This is Houston’s season. The 2017-18 campaign presents a chance for James Harden to shatter the narrative that his performances decline in the postseason, and he’s never before played better basketball. Chris Paul finally gets to go both to and beyond the Western Conference Finals.nfl jersey cheap

Though it’s worth noting you can easily pull a surplus of statistics that support either of these squads, a feeling can sometimes supersede everything else. And this year, Houston has inspired a lot of positive feelings.

Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers

Talented and dangerous as the 76ers may be, they’re going to nfl online storeĀ  run into the same problem that first stopped the Cavaliers in these predictions: The Raptors are just…better.

So much of the analysis of the No. 1 seed centers on the team’s depth. Fred VanVleet has been excellent off the pine. Ditto for Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, Pascal Siakam and virtually nfl jersys everyone under head coach Dwane Casey’s purview who happens to begin games on the bench. Toronto’s 9.5 net rating from its second-string players easily outpaces the mark earned by the No. 2 Houston Rockets (7.9). The Sixers, meanwhile, are down at No. 18 (minus-2.7).10a7f8913e2ae879252ca4f1c22e0052_crop_exact

But as illuminating as that focus can be, it also prevents the starting lineup from receiving due credit.the nfl store

If you’re worried that the Raptors will have to shrink their rotation in the postseason, as so many teams often do, don’t be. Not only should they be able to keep relying on a bench that’s taken down plenty of opposing outfits comprised solely of starters, but their opening bunch has been deadly in its own right. Take a gander at the top net ratings for starting lineups in the Eastern Conference this season:

Philadelphia 76ers, 7.8
Toronto Raptors, 6.8
Boston Celtics, 6.6
Indiana Pacers, 3.9
Milwaukee Bucks, 3.4

No, it’s not a coincidence that the two top marks belong to cheap nfl merchandise our representatives in this penultimate round of the playoffs.

But Toronto has a number of advantages that allow it to make up for the deficit. nike nfl hats Given its playoff experience, the fact its top players have gone through a full professional season before, the high-powered bench and the ability to win nfl official store games on either end of the floor, it should put an end to the upstart Sixers’ deep run.