NBA Odds & Predictions: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets Friday February 9th, 2019
Two of NBA’s Hottest and Marquee Teams Meet with Oklahoma City Visiting Houston
The trade deadline is behind us and now it’s time for the contenders to get down to business. Two of those Western teams face off Saturday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Houston Rockets.
The Thunder have won nine of their last ten games and are looking like one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Paul George is getting MVP-consideration (non-James Harden category), Russell Westbrook is putting up triple-doubles more often than not, the supporting cast is doing their job and this team appears to be growing more comfortable with each other every passing game.
The offense has been on fire for a while now, having averaged 124.6 PPG in their last 15 games. That is the second-best number in the league in that span. They are allowing 120.1.
And in their past ten, they have wins over Philadelphia, (on the road), Portland and Milwaukee. The one loss was a tight road loss to the Celtics and since then have consecutive wins over Orlando and Memphis.
In beating the Grizzlies 117-95 on Thursday, George put up 27 points and Westbrook had his eighth straight game with a triple double, this time with 15 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Jerami Grant also chipped in 20 points.
Grant is one player getting better as the season wears on. He averaged 14.4 PPG in January and is up to 15.5 PPG in four February games.
Houston has won three straight and six of their last eight. This team seems to be getting more comfortable with their current lineup with Clint Capela missing in action.
Kenneth Faried was signed to replace what the team’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder brings to the lineup and so far he’s averaging 16.1 PPG and 10.2 RPG. That’s not too far off the 17.6 PPG and 12.6 RPG Capela was bringing to the table.
Capela is now the only player on the injury list, after the team dealt with a litany of starters out of the lineup.
Chris Paul is back to playing 30 minutes a night in his last two games as he’s getting eased back into the lineup.
The team acquired Iman Shumpert to help fill the 3 and D, long-range shooter and defensive role that helped make the team so complete last season. He’ll likely make his debut in this one.
Houston beat a Sacramento team 127-101 last time out that had wins over Philadelphia and San Antonio in their previous two games.
Harden’s torrid scoring streak continues as he’s scored at least 30 points in 28 consecutive games. Only Wilt Chamberlin has longer streaks in the history of the NBA.
In their last 15 games, Houston is third in scoring with 119.3 PPG and are allowing 115.4 PPG.
Houston is -1.5 point favorites and the over/under is 235.5 points. The sparks should be flying in this one with some late clutch shots making the difference late. Home court helps. The Pick: Houston 125-121.