Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets - 11/16/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Houston Rockets (8-1) at Oklahoma City Thunder (3-7)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder +6 -- Over/Under: 195.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NBA TV, CSNH, FSOK
The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Houston Rockets on Sunday night at 7:00PM ET on NBATV.
The Houston Rockets are arguably the best team in the NBA right now sitting at 8-1 due in large part to a newfound commitment on the defensive end (91.6 points allowed per game, 1st in NBA). While the team’s defensive prowess was on display in their latest win, holding the winless 76ers to just 87 points, the offense was inexplicably absent scoring just 88 points on 37% shooting in what turned into a nail biter despite the Rockets being favored by 17 points. James Harden continues to be a prolific scorer and offensive catalyst for the Rockets, averaging 26 points, six rebounds, and seven assists per game while eclipsing 20 points in every game thus far in November. Center Dwight Howard is in peak form as well averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds with nearly three blocks per game. The Rockets replaced Chandler Parsons well by bringing in veteran Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverly is an irritating defender for opposing point guards, but the Rockets are still trying to find continuity at the power forward position as Donatas Motiejunas appears to be more of a bench scorer than a starter in relief of the injured Terrence Jones. The Rockets aren’t especially deep from the bench right now, so expect a lot of three point shooting especially from Jason Terry, Francisco Garcia and Kostas Papanikolaou.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are in a holding pattern at the moment, as they enter this game at 3-7 and unsure when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will return to action at 100%. Honestly the Thunder have probably beaten expectations slightly over the past couple weeks though with wins against the Celtics and Kings and a close loss against Memphis. Reggie Jackson is really stepping up at point guard averaging 22 points, eight assists and four rebounds per game which is actually what we saw him do last season as well; next year I would expect him to demand a starting job in the league as he has the talent for it. Serge Ibaka is averaging just over 16 points per game while also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Steven Adams is still rounding out his offensive game after overtaking Kendrick Perkins at the center position and the Thunder are still figuring out the shooting guard spot with Anthony Morrow seemingly a better option than the unpolished Jeremy Lamb. Lance Thomas is a pretty lackluster replacement at SF with both Durant and Perry Jones out. Oklahoma City is giving max effort nightly and Scott Brooks is motivating his guys well, but when the offense typically revolves so heavily around a player like Kevin Durant even the best teams would struggle to adjust.
With James Harden playing his former team here I expect the Rockets to be in peak form which should enable the better team to secure the win and cover. The Thunder are an intriguing team to back as an underdog on the moneyline going forward but not in this spot.