The NBA is set up with action packed slate of games throughout February 1. Ten games will be up on the board throughout Monday night. One of these games will be between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. These two teams have been around middle of the league this season, which should lead to a good one on Monday. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Rockets have earned a record of 9-9 throughout this season, which has them sitting in tenth place of the of the Western Conference. Houston has won five straight games entering this one and will look to keep that streak up with a victory over the Thunder. The Rockets will look to come out hot in this one as they look for a big win on Monday night.
Oklahoma City has put up a record of 8-10 so far this season, which has placed them in the eleventh seed of the Western Conference. The Thunder are coming off a loss in their last game and have lost four of their last six games. Oklahoma City will look to break through and get some revenge on the Rockets after losing to them in the playoffs last season.
These two teams have been sitting around .500 throughout this season. The Rockets have been a bit better, mostly from this nice winning streak. Houston will look to keep it going in this one, while the Thunder will look to get back in the win column. If either team can control the pace early in this one, it could be enough to get a big win.
The Rockets and the Thunder met up three times throughout last season. Houston hosted the first game on October 28. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder both put up 22 points for Oklahoma City, but it was not enough. James Harden dropped 40 points for the Rockets. Russell Westbrook dropped 21 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists as Houston won 116-112.
The second game of the season series shifted to Oklahoma City on January 9. Westbrook dropped 34 points, while Harden added 17. This time the Rockets came up short though. Danilo Gallinari scored on 23 points and 11 rebounds. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up 20 points for the Thunder to help lead Oklahoma City for a 113-92 win on the night.
The final game of the regular season went back to Houston on January 20. Russell Westbrook finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. James Harden scored 29 points and 9 rebounds, but the Rockets could not come away with the win. Chris Paul dropped 28 points and Danilo Gallinari put up 25 points and 13 rebounds. Dennis Schroder added 23 off the bench to lead the Thunder to a 112-107 win.
These two teams also met up in the first round of the playoffs as well. The Rockets were able to win the first two games of the series, but Oklahoma City bounced back with two wins of their own to tie up the series. Houston won Game 5, but the Thunder came back with a Game 6 win. The Rockets finally finished the series off with a win in Game 7.
Field Goal Shooting
The Rockets have not been great shooting the ball this season. Houston has been able to make around 45.8 percent of their shots from the field, which is 17th in the NBA. The Rockets have also made around 35.4 percent of their three point attempts, which is 21st in the league. Houston is also shooting 75.2 percent from the free throw line, which is 20th in the NBA.
Oklahoma City has not been great either shooting early in the season. The Thunder have been able to sink 45.2 percent of their shots from the field, which is 20th in the league. Oklahoma City is 28th in the NBA from behind the arc, making 33.9 percent of their shots. The Thunder are also shooting 71.9 percent from the free throw line, which is 27th in the league.
Houston has been the better team shooting the ball so far this season. The Rockets have also been better on defense. Houston has held opposing teams to a 44.8 percent from the field, which is 6th in the NBA. The Thunder will look to come out hot in this one as they try to set the pace. If the Rockets defense can control this one though, it could Houston the win.
Christian Wood, Victor Oladipo and John Wall have helped step up for this new look Rockets team this season. Wood is averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Oladipo has averaged 22 points per game since joining after the Harden trade. Wall is averaging 18 points and 6 assists per game. Eric Gordan has averaged 17 points per game to round out this lineup.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has taken over as the leader for this Oklahoma City team. He has averaged 22 points and 6.5 assists per game. Luguentz Dort is averaging 12.5 points per game. Al Horford has also averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Hamidou Diallo is averaging 11.5 points, while Darius Bazley has averaged 11 points per game.
These two teams have been led by their leaders. Wood, Oladipo and Wall have made for a solid big three after an interesting offseason and beginning to this season. Those three will look to take over early in this one to get an edge for the Rockets. Gilgeous-Alexander has helped carry this Thunder team, but he will need some help in this one.
The Rockets are coming into this one on a nice winning streak and I think the Houston will be able to keep it up in this one. The Rockets have a stronger top three entering this matchup and I think that the Thunder will struggle to keep up. If Houston’s defense can slow down Oklahoma City early in this one, it should be enough to give the Rockets the win.
BetOnline has Houston listed as a -4 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to the Rockets on Monday night. I think that the Thunder will look to come out strong in this one, but if Houston’s defense can slow them down inside the paint, it could give the Rockets a big edge. I like Houston to take over early in this one, which should help them cover this spread.