Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley has picked the Golden State Warriors over the Houston Rockets to progress from the Western Conference. In this picture, Former NBA player and commentator Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, April 4, 2016. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Charles Barkley has dismissed the Houston Rockets’ chances of preventing the Golden State Warriors from making a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance.

The two teams go head-to-head in the Western Conference Finals with Game 1 of the best of seven series set to tip offMonday night at the Toyota Center in Houston.

The Rockets and the Warriors have been the two best teams in the West this season and finished one and two in the regular standings. The talks about a matchup between the two teams to crown the best from the West has been going on since October last year.

James Harden and Chris Paul have been the stars for the Rockets team that cruised past Utah Jazz in the playoff semi-finals, but Barkley believes the two could come up short when they come up against Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

The former Rockets and Suns star admitted the Rockets duo will struggle to combine their offensive brilliance they have displayed throughout this season and defensive strength when they come up against the "Splash Brothers."

Barkley feels the Warriors have too much talent in the team to be stopped from making their fourth straight NBA Finals. The 11-time All-Star pointed to the reigning champions’ performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, when in one game Thompson was not at his best and they still came out on top.

“We knew this was going to be the match-up back in October,” Barkley said on TNT , as quoted by the Express. “But the Rockets can’t beat the Warriors.”

What’s going to be interesting is there isn’t a player from the Warriors that has to play great. Klay [Thompson] went 4-20 last week and they still won.

“Chris Paul and James Harden have to play well but they’ve got to play defence too,” he said. “They’re going to be playing against Steph [Curry] and Klay. Are those guys going to have enough energy to get 30 a night and guard them [Curry and Thompson]. ... That’s going to be the toughest thing for them.”

However, according to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, the Rockets are unlike any team the Warriors have faced in the playoff finals in the Steve Kerr era.

“The 2018 Rockets have won more games, compiled a better point differential & posted a higher offensive efficiency rating than any Warriors playoff opponent during the Steve Kerr Era (2015-2018),” Golliver said on his official Twitter account.

The Rockets also have a better advantage in the head-to-head record between the two teams in the regular season games. They faced each other on three occasions with Harden’s team coming out ahead with a 2-1 advantage.

The first game was a close affair with the Rockets edging the Warriors 122-121 after Kevin Durant late buzzer beater was deemed late upon replay review. The second game was the Warriors’ 124-114, but that was in the absence of Harden, who was out with a hamstring injury.

The third game Jan. 20 went to the Rockets and it was a Chris Paul show with the point guard scoring 33 points and assisting 11. Harden, who was playing just his second game after returning from a hamstring injury, scored 22 points to ensure a 116-108 victory over their Western Conference Final rivals.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Rockets tips off in Houston on Monday night at 9 p.m. EDT with live TV coverage in the United States on TNT.