The Rockets have spent all year building towards Monday night’s Game 1 matchup with the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Houston has been, rightfully, obsessed with building a roster intent on combating Golden State’s quartet of All-Stars, knowing that the road to a championship goes through the Warriors.
The biggest addition for the Rockets was adding point guard Chris Paul, who came to Houston intent on rewriting the narrative around his own personal playoff success. Adding Paul also brought a more intense figure to the Rockets locker room in terms of a commitment to preparation, something that hasn’t always been a hallmark of the James Harden-led Houston squads.
That’s not to say Harden isn’t in the film room and doesn’t take preparation seriously, but Paul takes things to a completely different level with his obsession with watching games and trying to glean information from them. Ahead of Game 1, Harden noted this difference when talking about how Paul will just watch NBA games on Houston’s off nights and constantly text his co-star about what he’s seeing, even when Harden is out and about enjoying his off time.