Sunday evening, we witnessed an amazing Game 7 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, which ended in a Cavs victory, as they advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year. The Golden State Warriors are trying to accomplish the same feat, as they enter Game 7 in Houston.

Before looking ahead to the keys for tonight’s highly-anticipated Game 7, it’s worth noting that Warriors forward Andre Iguodala will miss his fourth straight game with a contusion in his leg. Meanwhile, the Rockets are still deeming Chris Paul questionable with his hamstring injury.

Which team will have better ball movement?

The Warriors have always been known for their incredible ball movement and man movement, which is why they have always led the league in assists. However, during the Conference Finals, most notably in losses, their offense has been stagnant due to a lot of Kevin Durant isolations. If the Warriors want to steal another game in Houston, their ball movement and man movement must be crisp.

Ball movement applies to the Rockets as well since they are known for having James Harden or Chris Paul dominate the ball for most of the shot clock. When the Rockets move the ball around, they are equally as dangerous offensively. They have multiple outside shooters surrounding their superstars and a big man who is capable of catching lobs and running the floor.

The team that isolates the least will most likely win this game.


Turnovers have been the biggest issue for the Warriors. In Game 5, they were extremely sloppy with the ball, committing 18 turnovers. Then in Game 6, the Rockets were unbelievably loose with the ball, chalking up 21 giveaways. Turnovers have been a major theme during this series, especially in the last two games.

Both of these teams should know that turnovers are deadly, because they often result in points scored at the other end.

Game 7 intensity and physicality

In a win or go home situation, usually the most aggressive and physical team wins the contest. In a Game 7, officials let the players play, allowing for some physical contact and aggressive play.

The team that plays with more intensity and physicality down low will get the win.

In Game 6, the Rockets were the aggressors in the first quarter, but as the game went on, the Warriors increased their physicality, forcing turnovers and bad shots. In a Game 7, Harden may not be rewarded with calls when he initiates most of the contact, while guys like Durant and Curry might not get ticky-tack calls in their favor around the basket.

Three-point shooting

Finally, when you talk about the Warriors and Rockets, you think about three-point shooting. Being the two best outside shooting teams, the three-point line will be the biggest difference in this game. In Game 6, it was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Rockets were on fire from beyond the arc, which helped them jump out to an early lead, and in the second half, the Warriors caught fire from distance, which helped them seal the win.

Game 7 is set to tip-off at 9 PM ET on TNT at the Toyota Center in Houston. Who will win to advance to the 2018 NBA Finals?