Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers - 11/28/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Los Angeles Clippers (9-5) at Houston Rockets (12-3)
NBA Basketball: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Toyota Center)
The Line: Houston Rockets +3 -- Over/Under: 198.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NBA TV, PT, CSNH
The Houston Rockets host the Los Angeles Clippers in a battle of playoff contenders in the Western Conference on NBA TV on Friday night.
The Los Angeles Clippers have definitely shown some weaknesses in the early going with a 9-5 record entering this contest, but they’re also 4-1 on their current road trip that’s pitted them against largely weaker Eastern conference opponents. The lone loss on the current road trip came against the Grizzlies, who really neutralized the Clippers paint tandem of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. With Dwight Howard likely out for this contest, Griffin and Jordan should be able to dominate inside in this matchup though. Griffin is averaging 21.6 points per game to lead the team while also adding 7.4 rebounds and Jordan is averaging just eight points per game but leads the team in rebounds with 11.4 per game while also chipping in with 2.14 blocked shots. In the backcourt Chris Paul is averaging 19 points and ten assists per game, but the hotter player could actually be Jamal Crawford, who is averaging nearly 22 points per game over his last three despite logging just 29 minutes on average. Matt Barnes is questionable for this contest at SF, which could lead to LA shaking up the lineup with second-year player Reggie Bullock.
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The Houston Rockets are 12-3 on the year and have managed to go 3-1 thus far with center Dwight Howard recovering from a knee injury. Half of Houston’s wins have come on their home floor where they are 6-2, which includes three consecutive home wins over the Mavericks, Knicks and Kings. James Harden has predictably been a huge part of all three of those wins, scoring 32, 36, and 26 points while boosting his season averages to 25.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per game. With Patrick Beverly also missing the last two games at point guard with no timetable set for return, Isaiah Canaan stepped up in the Rockets most recent win over the Kings, scoring 24 points on 6-10 three point shooting while also adding four steals, six rebounds, and four assists. Down low the Rockets are in rough shape with the seven foot forward Donatas Motiejunas really being more of a natural stretch option and Tarik Black simply inexperienced as a rookie out of Kansas. The Rockets really weren’t prepared to lose Howard in addition to Terrence Jones and the Clippers look like the perfect opponent to truly expose that deficiency in the paint.
The Rockets have done well to overcome their onslaught of injuries but the home loss to the Lakers that preceded the three game winning streaks shows how vulnerable this club can potentially be without hero efforts from the Rockets backcourt. I like the Clippers to win this game straight up, so any odds on the moneyline are a bonus but I’m willing to lay up to 2.5 as well. Beyond that number and it’s a single unit on LA on moneyline. Please check back for confirmation on my pick and unit rating once the line is released.