The NBA is set up with a busy Friday night of basketball. Eight games are on the board The NBA is set up for a solid night of action on Saturday. Nine games litter the board throughout the day of February 9. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets will meet in one of the best games of the night. Both teams are in the thick of the playoff race this season in the Western Conference. Tip off is set for 8:30 PM Eastern time on ABC.
The Thunder have jumped out to a record of 35-19 this season, which has earned them the third spot in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City has won two games in a row and nine of their last ten games. The Thunder have been doing really well this season and they will look to keep it going against their rivals.
Houston struggled early in the season, but have picked up the pace in a big way recently. The Rockets currently have a record of 32-22, which has them sitting in fifth place of the Western Conference. Houston has won three games in a row and six of their last eight games. The Rockets could really use a big win against the Thunder on Saturday night. Houston has been climbing the ranks recently and they can jump up some more with a big win at home.
The Thunder and the Rockets Friday night’s matchup will be the third of the season series. Oklahoma City and Houston will meet one more time to finish out the season on April 9. Both teams are able to compete in the Western Conference, which makes this a really good matchup for Saturday night.
The first matchup of the season series was hosted by Oklahoma City on November 8. James Harden had a solid night, dropping 19 points. The Rockets starting lineup combined for 65 points, but it was not enough. Paul George dropped 20 points and 11 rebounds. Steven Adams had 19 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the Thunder to a win at home. Oklahoma City finished with a victory of 98-80 over Houston.
The Rockets hosted the second game of the season series on December 25. Paul George had another big night against the Rockets, dropping 28 points and 14 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had a good night, scoring 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. James Harden took over though, scoring 41 points. Eric Gordan added 17 points to help give Houston the win. The Rockets pulled off the 113-109 win at home.
These two teams each were able to pull off the win in front of their home fans this season. The Thunder took the first game in a much more defensive battle. The key in that game was that Oklahoma City was able to shut down James Harden. Harden has been on an absolute tear as of late and he will look to lead his team to another win.er enough to get a good feel, I believe Dallas has a chance to pull off the upset.
Three Point Shooting
Oklahoma City has been around the middle of the league when it comes to shooting the three ball this season. The Thunder have made around 35.3 percent of their three-point shots. Oklahoma City’s three-point defense has been doing a much better job this season. The Thunder have held their opponents to a three-point percentage of 34.4, which is top ten in the league.
The Rockets have shot and made the most three-point shots this season, but their percentage isn’t great. Houston is making around 34.7 percent of their shots from behind the arc. While the percentage isn’t great, the Rockets are making the most three-point shots. Houston’s defense from behind the arc has been even better. The Rockets held their opponents to a 33.8 percent from behind the line.
Both of these teams are better at defending the three-point line, but the Rockets have the second best three-point defense in the NBA. Houston may have the better three-point defense, but Oklahoma City has been better at shooting the three ball. Overall, this should be a key matchup to watch on Saturday night.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook have been leading the Thunder this season. George has averaged 28 points and 8 rebounds per game this season. Westbrook is averaging a triple-double again this season with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists per game. Steven Adams is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. Dennis Schroder has averaged 16 points per game off the bench this season. Jerami Grant has stepped up his game averaging 13 points per game.
James Harden has been on an absolute tear this season and it has led the Rockets to the point they are now. Harden is averaging 36.5 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists per game. Eric Gordan has averaged 16 points per game. Kenneth Faried is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds in his nine games with Houston. Chris Paul has averaged 15.5 points per game and 8 assists, while Austin Rivers is averaging 10.5 points per game.
These two team’s match up really well with each other. I imagine that George and Westbrook will go up against Paul and Harden a lot in this game. Adams will battle with Faried at the Center spot. Rivers and Schroder will go head to head off the bench. I really like how these two teams look against each other. These matchups should lead to a close game on Friday night.
These two teams split the first two matchups of the season series, with each team winning their game at home. With Saturday night’s game bouncing back to Houston, I believe this could give the Rockets the edge. Both teams compare fairly well when it comes to shooting and defending from behind the three-point line. They also matchup really well in their lineups, which should keep the game close. Houston will look for their home fans to give them the necessary edge to pull off the win.
BetOnline has the Rockets listed as a -1 ½ against the spread. Houston was able to take the second game of the season series on the back of a big game from James Harden. With how Harden has been playing this season, there is no reason to assume he won’t have a big game on Saturday night. I believe that this will help give the Rockets the edge to pull off the win. I am taking Houston against the spread.