Rockets-Warriors brings Suns fans' pain of last decade-plus full circle

Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry tries to get past New Orleans Pelicans Rajon Rondo in the first period of Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals at Oracle Arena in Oakland Calif. on Tuesday

Is the playoff stigma officially off Chris Paul now?

This is, after all, the way it was supposed to be when the season began. They have been led by the steady play of Chris Paul, who is coming off of an efficient 41-point game five victory against the Jazz. He did it in all four years with the Miami Heat, winning two championships and falling short twice.

Golden State lost two of its three regular season games against the Rockets, and although sports dynasties are cool, we're all hungry to see if the Dubs can be dethroned. He wasn't fantastic last year and he has been even worse this year.

Everyone gets to catch their collective breaths for a few days, with the league going dark until the weekend.

This is the third time these teams have met in the playoffs and the Rockets have not fared well against the Warriors in their short history.

Heading into the 2017-18 season, there were not many ways one could criticize the career of Chris Paul.

The series price grew to Golden State -190 in the first two hours after it had posted.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has been outspoken that his team has been constructed with the sole objective to bring down Golden State.

Since Curry should quickly return to form soon, the Pelicans' chances of pulling off an upset are slim.

13 years since being drafted as the fourth overall pick in the 2005 National Basketball Association draft, Houston Rockets superstar Chris Paul will finally compete in the Western Conference Finals for the first time. All he did was register 28 points in 27 minutes as the Warriors outscored the Pelicans by 26 points during his time on the court. Cleveland has advanced to the Eastern Conference finals and is awaiting the victor of the conference semifinals series between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, with Boston up 3-1 going into Wednesday night's Game 5 at TD Garden.

That was the goal when the Rockets traded for Paul - give James Harden some help, a second playmaker who could take over on offense, hit the open man, and tighten up their perimeter defense.

The Warriors are in search of their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, but the league's best team stands in their way, as Houston went 65-17 during the regular season.

The Celtics continue to exceed expectations without the injured Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Cavaliers: $1,478,543. Would finish with $3,825,490 if they lose the NBA Finals, $5,020,439 if they win the title. Not only might Stevens be the NBA's best head coach, but he's proving to be as valuable as some star players.

Boston has a 3-1 lead over Philadelphia in their series, so they are likely to face Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Championship.

Nearly seven months later, the conference finals begin with Cleveland at Boston, Golden State at Houston. But the emergence of Clint Capela as an elite two-way player in the middle with capable shooters on the wing has seemingly pushed them to new heights.

The Golden State Warriors haven't had the same level of determination this year, due to a variety of well reported reasons.

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