Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Houston Rockets are 37-17 and sit third in the Western Conference, trailing San Antonio by 2.5 games for the second best record. The Rockets are 15-10 on the road and will travel to face the 32-22 Golden State Warriors in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring the Rockets by 1.5 points.
Houston has won its past eight contests, and hasn’t lost since Jan 24 & 25 in back-to-back Ls to Memphis. The Rockets won 134-108 over the L.A. Lakers last night (Feb 19) as James Harden scored 29 points and dished out 11 assists. Seven Rockets reached double-figure scoring and the Rockets shot 50 percent from the floor as a team in the win.
Harden leads the team in scoring with 24 points per game, while also averaging 4.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Dwight Howard hasn’t got quite as many looks as he did in Orlando, but the center is averaging 18.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in 34 minutes a night.
The Rockets will need to re-sign Chandler Parsons this summer. The swingman has been valuable to its success and he is averaging 37.6 minutes per night while posting averages of 17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Parsons had been on one of the league’s biggest bargain contracts but will be due for something in excess of $10 million if the Rockets do not exercise his option for next season, which would then render him a free agent following the 2014-15 season. Terrence Jones has been much improved in his sophomore campaign and though he is a bit thin for the 4-spot, he is averaging 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while posting a PER of 18.0.
Golden State, once known solely for running and gunning, has become a formidable defensive team. The Warriors rank 9th in the NBA in points allowed (98.8) and Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are both tough defenders on the wing. Andrew Bogut anchors the paint well, and the Warriors are a very good rebounding team (2nd in NBA, 45.8 boards per game). Bogut has missed the past five contests with a shoulder ailment and is not expected to return tonight.
Stephen Curry made his first All-Star start and together with Klay Thompson, the Warriors possess one of the NBA’s best young backcourts. Curry is averaging 24.4 points and 9.0 assists per game and Thompson is averaging 18.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
The Warriors sport a deep rotation and sophomore forward Harrison Barnes is another athletic wing player that commands attention. Jordan Crawford hasn’t been used extensively since coming in trade, and the Warriors just acquired Steve Blake today (Feb 20) to add depth to the backcourt rotation. Toney Douglas has also been used sparingly, and the Warriors parted with Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, neither of whom was receiving any significant minutes.
HOU Trends: 4-0 ATS in last 4 vs teams with winning SU records; 7-1 ATS in last 8 when opponent scores more than 100 points in previous game; UNDER 5-1-1 in last 7 vs teams with winning home record.
GS Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 when starting 5 combines for 160 or more minutes on previous day; 0-7-1 ATS in last 8 following SU win; UNDER 7-1 in last 8 when opponent allows 100 or more points in previous game.
Head-to-head: Rockets 5-1 ATS in last 6 meetings; Rockets 4-1 ATS in last 5 meetings in Golden State; OVER 18-7-1 in last 26 meetings in Golden State.