Lin: Game vs. Warriors is biggest of the year
Everybody knows it. Sunday's game between the Rockets and Warriors is downright huge.
The Warriors are only a half game up on the Rockets. That means, if the Rockets win, they would take over the sixth seed in the Western Conference. If not, the distance expands to 1.5 games behind the Warriors with limited time remaining in the regular season. A spot as the seventh or eighth seed would ensure a matchup against either the Thunder (for the seven spot) or the Spurs (for the eight spot), neither of which are particularly enviable matchups for any team.
"I'd probably say it's our biggest game of the year," Jeremy Lin said.
"This is a great opportunity and hopefully, all the ups and downs of the past six or seven games will train us for this homestretch."
"It's a huge game, I think for both teams," James Harden said. "Besides the point that we beat them three times (previously this season), that doesn't matter any more. This is our last game (against them) and this is for big seeding. It's going to be a very good game, a battle. The previous three games (against the Warriors) were good battles as well. So hopefully, we can come out with some energy."
The matchups play a large role in the importance of this game.
"It's everything," Lin said. "Everything. Matchups are everything in the playoffs. So we're talking about, right now, (either) Oklahoma versus whoever's in the three seed. So it's about matchups and trying to find somebody that we'll be able to match up well against for seven games."
Harden echoed those thoughts.
"It's very important for us," Harden said. "Obviously, we have 16 more games, so it's really important for us to keep winning games and give ourselves a chance to be put in the best position at the end of the season."
Battle Royale takes place on Sunday night at the Toyota Center. It could represent a huge step for the Rockets to get to exactly where they want to be by season's end.