A LOOK AHEAD

John Granato: Things that will happen at some point in the Rockets-Warriors series

John Granato: Things that will happen at some point in the Rockets-Warriors series
James Harden's Rockets and the Warriors will make you think about several things this series. Rockets.com

At some point in this series…

You will marvel at how pretty Steph Curry’s jumper is.

The refs will have to decide on a flagrant one or two on Draymond Green.

You will hate Kevin Durant’s mouthpiece.

You will see a picture of Clint Capela next to this quote: “We are better than them.”

You will wonder why Draymond Green thought those clothes all went together.

At some point in this series…

Charles Barkley will say the Rockets just aren’t good enough.

You will laugh when James Harden and Draymond Green flop simultaneously.

You will wonder why Steph Curry took that crazy shot but then it goes in and you just shake your head.

You will be jealous of how pretty Oracle Arena looks just before tipoff.

At some point in this series…

You will jump out of your seat and yell at Draymond Green even though he can’t hear you because you’re in your house.

You will wonder why Gerald Green took that crazy shot but then it goes in and you just shake your head.

You will think that Klay Thompson is not really all that good at basketball.

You will think that Klay Thompson is unstoppable.

Draymond Green and P.J. Tucker will get tangled up and tempers will flare.

At some point in this series...

James Harden will make one of the prettiest passes you’ve ever seen.

The refs will have to look at another Draymond Green foul to see if it was a flagrant one or two.

The announcer will mention that this is Chris Paul’s first trip to the Conference Finals.

James Harden will walk around with his hands out in disbelief at a call.

Chris Paul and Kevin Durant will trade big mid-range jumpers.

At some point in this series...

Trevor Ariza will hit a huge 3 that will bring the crowd to its feet.

You will think the Warriors uniforms are cool.

You will throw something at your TV because of Draymond Green.

Charles Barkley will admit that he was wrong and the Rockets are better than he thought.

You will think that these Warriors might be the best basketball team you’ve ever seen.

At some point in this series…

Draymond Green’s leg will have a spastic attack and he’ll kick someone in a bad place.

James Harden will make one of the ugliest passes you’ve ever seen.

Steve Kerr will have a hair out of place.

Warriors fans will scream that James Harden just walked.

You will wonder why Chris Paul thought those clothes all went together.

At some point in this series…

P.J. Tucker will hit a huge 3 that will bring the crowd to its feet.

The refs will have to decide if another Draymond Green foul was a flagrant one or two.

You will hate Steph Curry’s mouthpiece

Draymond Green will skip down the court nodding and smiling and taunting the Toyota Center crowd.

At some point in this series…

You will worry that Clint Capela will get a max offer from another team this offseason

You will hate that there are so many days off between games.

You will hate Draymond Green.

James Harden will have a shot that will decide his big game legacy.

You will be proud of your Rockets.















 

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Tucker teams with Topps! Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images.

Juan Soto has been on baseball cards with Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Trout, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts.

But this one, well, this one was a little different for Soto. This one had the New York Yankees slugger and Puerto Rican musician Daddy Yankee.

“It surprised me. It really struck me when they told me. ... It came over to my house, and I saw myself with Daddy Yankee,” Soto said. “It was just great. I mean, the Big Boss! It’s just great.”

The Soto-Daddy Yankee collaboration is one of two “Signature Tunes” cards that are part of the latest edition of Topps Series 2 as the famed card company shines a light on players and the artists behind their walk-up music.

Houston Astros slugger Kyle Tucker and rap superstar Travis Scott are on the other “Signature Tunes” card. Scott is from Houston, and he gave the Astros pairs of his Air Jordan 1 Low Olive shoes last year.

There are 25 autographed versions of each duo in Series 2, which was released on Wednesday.

“You don’t see too many of those, you see them typically with another player or something like that,” Tucker said. "But to be on a card or baseball card with someone that kind of has a further reach outside of baseball is, I think, pretty cool.”

Daddy Yankee and Myke Towers — another Puerto Rican musician — also are included in the set's “ First Pitch ” insert cards, highlighting the ubiquitous pregame ritual.

Clay Luraschi, the head of product development for Topps, said music, particularly walk-up, and for pitchers, warmup music, has become an important part of the game.

“What we really do is, we think about, OK, the core of it for Series 2 or Series 1, our flagship, it's baseball," he said, "but what are the other things that are like surrounding the game that fans are also interested in? And that’s where we come up with these other ideas that we feel like, you know, fit into the world of the game.”

Tucker was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with a bruised right shin. But he has been using Rich Homie Quan's “Walk Thru” as his walk-up song before his plate appearances. He has used Scott's “Escape Plan” in the past.

“Walk Thru” had been Michael Brantley's walk-up tune before he retired in January after finishing his career with the Astros.

“It was kind of somewhat of a tribute to Mike’s career and stuff. And I just kind of kept it going,” Tucker said. “Really the first game I got a couple of hits when I used it, so I just kept rolling with it and it’s done pretty well for me.”

The 27-year-old Tucker, who is among the major league leaders with 19 homers, said he likes Houston reliever Ryan Pressly using Johnny Cash's “God's Gonna Cut You Down” as his warmup music. Growing up in Tampa, Florida, he also remembers Tantric's “Down and Out” as the walk-up song for former Rays infielder Evan Longoria.

“That kind of always stuck with me,” Tucker said.

Soto, 25, has used Daddy Yankee's “HOT” as his walk-up music in the past. He was traded from San Diego to New York in December, and he went with Jay-Z's “Empire State of Mind” for his home debut with the Yankees.

“For me, it’s gotta be something that gets you hyped, it gets you really thinking about what you’re gonna do," Soto said. “Something that, you want the fans to get crazy but you want yourself to get crazy, too.”

Soto has been using “Estamos Arriba” by Bad Bunny and Towers, a song he said he got from Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames.

Asked for one of his favorite combinations involving another player, Soto pointed to Charlie Blackmon with the Colorado Rockies. Blackmon uses “Your Love” by The Outfield.

“I don’t know the name of the song, but I know it’s just like, I just know it says that, ‘I just wanna (use) your love tonight,’ and whenever they say love they just turn it off and the whole crowd goes, ‘To-night!’” Soto said. ”It was so good. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is great.’ I think that’s the only guy who can have that walk-up song."

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