While they will tell the media they have all the confidence in the world and fully believe they will win the Western Conference Finals, Monday night’s 119-106 Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors has to be very discouraging to the Houston Rockets.

The top-seeded Rockets put so much effort into winning 65 games in the regular season to get home-court advantage, and the defending champions immediately made that not matter with the convincing double-digit victory. This was the game the Rockets were supposed to win. Home court, all the fans loud and pumped up for the game, and the opportunity to make a statement to the Warriors that this series is going to be a pain in the ass.

Instead, some will now argue that the series is basically over. Charles Barkley already feels that way and is now picking “the Warriors in 3.”

And, maybe it is over.  The Warriors are clearly the huge favorites now (and have the mental edge at this point, of course), and the Rockets would have to beat them in four of six games, with at least one of those wins needing to be at Oracle Arena. That’s going to be extremely difficult, and you won’t find anyone but the Rockets themselves or homer Rockets fans picking Houston to win at this point.

But this is an excellent Rockets team with the firepower capable of matching the Warriors.

Whatever the case, to have any chance (barring an injury to a Warriors star), Game 2 is a must-win for the Rockets. Losing both home games to start the series, and being forced to beat this Warriors team four times in a best-of-five, with at least two wins necessary in Golden State… well, then the series would *really* feel over.

The crucial Game 2 tips off at 9 PM ET (TNT) on Wednesday at the Toyota Center.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.