In what will be a matchup that features the best defense against one of the best offenses, the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets will clash in a classic Texas showdown.

Outside shooting

The Rockets are going to rely heavily on their outside shooting. With James Harden running the point, he will attempt to use a lot of dribble penetration to find open looks for his teammates. The floor will be stretched, so San Antonio’s big men must make a strong effort sucking into the paint to corral defensive rebounds when a shot is attempted. Fortunately, for the Spurs, they are a solid perimeter defensive team, led by Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

They should be able to contain the Rockets three-point shooting, run-and-gun offense.

Tony Parker will step up again

Throughout the regular season, Tony Parker struggled, as he was highly inconsistent and ineffective. However, in the series against the Memphis Grizzlies, the 34-year-old veteran averaged 16.3 points and 3.0 assists on 53.3 percent shooting, including a 27-point effort in the team’s closeout game. Parker playing at a high level makes all the difference because Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge cannot be the only offensive producers especially against a high-scoring team like the Rockets.

James Harden vs. Kawhi Leonard

The battle between the two MVP candidates in this series is going to be thrilling.

While Harden is an offensive genius, Leonard is a defensive master. In four games against each other in the regular season, the two superstars have sparkled. In their most recent matchup, Leonard bested Harden at the end of the game with a clutch three-point jumper and a monstrous block.

Seeing how the two have played against each other during the season, this matchup will be highly anticipated.

Obviously, on the defensive end for Houston, Trevor Ariza will pick up the assignment of guarding Leonard, but it is going to, nonetheless, be an interesting battle.

The bench battle

Another crucial battle is going to be against the two benches. Both the Spurs and Rockets have amazing scorers off their bench.

For Houston, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams will be the catalysts, and for the Spurs, Patty Mills, Pau Gasol, and Manu Ginobili will be the main components. Sam Dekker is going to make his return to tonight, which only deepens Houston’s second unit. Another key player for the Rockets is Nene Hilario, who had his best game of the season not too long ago against the Oklahoma City Thunder, dropping 28 points on perfect shooting from the field.

Game 1 will take place in San Antonio at the AT&T Center and will be televised nationally on TNT. It should be an entertaining one from start to finish.

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