2013 Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Predictions

Last Updated: May 2nd, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The 2013 NBA playoffs are set to begin, and today at Bankroll Sports, we are going to be keeping a close eye on the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. These two should be going at it in a great set of battles, and we are going to have our NBA playoffs predictions and scores update on a nightly basis for this and all of the great series throughout the playoffs. Check back to this page often, as we will be updating our final scores and our series analysis so you can make the most informed NBA picks every step of the way in this series.

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Playoff Schedule

Thunder Win Series 4-2

Game 1: Houston Rockets 91 – Oklahoma City Thunder 120
Game 2: Houston Rockets 102 – Oklahoma City Thunder 105
Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder 104 – Houston Rockets 101
Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder 103 – Houston Rockets 105
Game 5: Houston Rockets 107 – Oklahoma City Thunder 100
Game 6: Oklahoma City Thunder 103 – Houston Rockets 94

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Odds at
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Houston Rockets +525
Oklahoma City Thunder -750
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Rockets vs. Thunder Series Update
Game 1: The Thunder are literally off and running. They knocked down 10 three-point shots and 44 shots from the field for the game, and they were able to drop a whopping 120 points on the Rockets in Game 1 of this series. It was a tremendously well-balanced attack for sure. There were eight players that scored at least eight points in the game, and it was a huge effort in spite of the fact that G Russell Westbrook and F Kevin Durant only combined to score 43 points. Thunder 120 – Rockets 91 (Thunder Lead Series 1-0)

Game 2: The Rockets had their chance to steal a game in this series, but they just weren’t able to finish the job in the second half in Oklahoma city. G James Harden went to the line a whopping 20 times for the game and ended up scoring 36 points with 11 boards and six assists against his former team. Houston was down 15 in the fourth quarter, but it rallied to nearly pull off the huge upset. Rookie G Patrick Beverly scored 16 points with 12 boards with six assists, but it was G Russell Westbrook and F Kevin Durant that led the way, scoring 29 points apiece. As we found out later though, Westbrook suffered a knee injury and is going to miss the rest of this series for sure. Thunder 105 – Rockets 102 (Thunder Lead Series 2-0)

Game 3: The poor Rockets have to have had the stuffing knocked out of them at this point. They completely erased a 26-point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter, and they seemed poised to go on and win the game. However, a few thunderous dunks and a miracle of a three-point basket by F Kevin Durant ultimately gave the game to the Thunder by a triple. Houston had a shot to tie at the end, but the final shot clanked off of the rim, giving OKC a 3-0 series lead. G James Harden scored 30 points, but G Jeremy Lin clearly was hurting with a chest problem that caused him to miss basically the entire second half. Durant scored 41 and pulled down 14 boards in his first game playing without G Russell Westbrook in these playoffs. Oklahoma City looked mortal in the second half, shooting just 38 percent from the field and scoring a total of just 38 points. Still, a 66-point first half burst was enough to seal the ‘W’. Thunder 104 – Rockets 101 (Thunder Lead Series 3-0)

Game 4: We learned a lot about the Rockets and the Thunder in this game. Houston wasn’t really able to get all that much out of G James Harden in this game. Harden visibly looked hurt, and he turned the ball over 10 times and made just four field goals for the game. However, the rest of the team rallied around him, shooting 51.2 percent as a team without their star, including getting 27 huge points from F Chandler Parsons to lead the way. What did we learn about Oklahoma City? The team is in a heck of a lot of trouble. The Thunder are clearly going to need someone aside from F Kevin Durant to step it up. When Durant is hot and he is getting to the basket, OKC is fine. However, the team just can’t rely on KD scoring 40 points every night to carry the load. Someone else is going to have to maintain the basketball to get some open looks for some other guys, and that just isn’t happening right now. G Reggie Jackson did what he could, scoring 18 points, but he only had three assists, and that isn’t going to cut it. Durant scored 38 and was dominating, but he couldn’t win this game all by himself in spite of the fact that he shot 12-of-16 from the field and 13-of-15 from the foul line. Rockets 105 – Thunder 103 (Thunder Lead Series 3-1)

Game 5: More of the same for the Thunder in this series, and they have to become scared that the very real possibility is there that not only could this become a disaster of a first round defeat, but there is a reasonable chance that the Rockets could become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to ultimately claim the series. Once again, six players were in double figures for the Rockets, but this time around, G James Harden played like a monster. Everything he was shooting was hitting the bottom of the net, and he ultimately came up with seven threes and 31 total points. G Reggie Jackson scored 20 for the Thunder, but G Kevin Martin only shot 1-of-10 from the field and really killed the effort. F Kevin Durant scored 36, had seven boards, and seven helpers, but again, the offense just didn’t look right with him essentially playing the point guard spot. Oklahoma City has some real problems right now going back to the Lone Star State for Game 6. Rockets 107 – Thunder 100 (Thunder Lead Series 3-2)

Game 6: It wasn’t a thing of beauty for the Thunder, but they were able to finally get some help from the full team, and that’s why they were able to finally pull away from the Rockets down the stretch to close out this series after losing Games 4 and 5. F Kevin Durant scored his 27 points, but it was G Reggie Jackson with 17 points, eight assists, and seven boards and G Kevin Martin that scored 25 points that really made the difference. The three major players off of the Oklahoma City bench went +25, +32, and +20 respectively, and that’s why Oklahoma City has survived. Thunder 103 – Rockets 94 (Thunder Win Series 4-2)

2013 Rockets vs. Thunder Series Preview

There is going to be plenty of bad blood that might get spilled over onto the courts at Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Toyota Center over the course of the next two weeks, as there are a number of players on both sides of the court that have experience with the other team. This is going to be a heck of a series that should feature a ton of scoring.

Houston really has nothing to lose at this point, knowing that it is the severe underdog in this series. Any game that happens to be won would be a huge accomplishment for a team that was lucky just to get into the second season this year. G James Harden is the man that is going to be the focal point for this offense, as he averaged 25.9 points per game this season. Of course, Harden came over in the huge blockbuster deal prior to the start of the season from this Oklahoma City outfit. The Rockets also added both C Omer Asik and G Jeremy Lin in the offseason, and both have become solid contributors. F Chandler Parsons had a bust out season, averaging 15.5 points per game as well. However, the real issue with Houston is that it just cannot play any defense. The team is willing to run up and down the floor, and there is no doubt that it can score at will, averaging 106.0 points per game, but on the other side of the court, the Rockets are conceding 102.5 points per game, and that most certainly isn’t going to cut it when push comes to shove against a team like this one.

Oklahoma City knows that it has a target on its back at this point, and it is going to need to play at its very best to win this series and eventually get back to the NBA Finals. The team revolves around G Russell Westbrook and F Kevin Durant, who are combining to put up over 50 points per game between them. Durant came just short of the scoring title this year, but that’s no worry to him. He just wants to get that elusive first ring. The real issue is the bench. Last year, we knew that Harden was going to come into the game at some point in the middle of the first quarter and really spark the offense. Now, G Kevin Martin has that role, and though he did average 14.0 points per game this season, he clearly isn’t as good as Harden was. Men like C Kendrick Perkins and F Serge Ibaka add to the defensive prowess of this team, and this is the one aspect where Oklahoma City was much improved. The team allowed just 96.5 points per game this year, which is lethal considering the fact that the team is putting up 105.7 points per game.

The Thunder won 60 games this season, and they went 50-8 SU and 43-15 ATS in games this year in which they scored 100+ points. They’re going to score at least 100 in each of the games of this series for sure, and that is going to be the deathblow to the Rockets. Oklahoma City went 2-1 SU and ATS in the regular season, and it scored at least 119 in all three of these games. Perhaps Houston ekes out one, but this series isn’t going more than five games.

Thunder vs. Rockets Series Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder in 5

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 @ 10:20 am (EST)
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