Posts Tagged ‘Houston Rockets’

2013 Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Predictions

May 2nd, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Predictions
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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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The Weekly Sports Betting Wrap Sheet (2/22/10)

February 22nd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in General Handicapping   Comments Off on The Weekly Sports Betting Wrap Sheet (2/22/10)
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There’s plenty to rant about this week in the sports world. Not only were the Olympics hot and heavy, but the NBA’s trade deadline has come and gone as well. There’s also just a few weeks left until Selection Sunday. Here at Bankroll Sports, we’re ready to take out the trash and call out the stiffs that wrecked the sports world for the week that was.

Rap Sheet Picture of the Week
Phoenix Suns’ F Amare Stoudemire, who has to be wondering why he’s still stuck in the desert for the duration of the season.

Hey, Canadian Ice Hockey Team… What gives? You’re the host nation, you’re playing on your own ice in front of tens of thousands of your fans, and you’ve clearly got one of the best sets of 23 guys ever assembled on the same ice. Why the heck do you need a shootout to get past Switzerland and then do you lose to your arch rivals, the United States Hockey Team? That’s awfully unacceptable, eh? Now, as the #6 seed in the tournament, you’ve got to take out Germany just to earn the right to get into the quarterfinals of this draw, while the US and three other teams that played better than you did during the group stages are resting and watching.

We’ve already done some ranting when we talked about out NBA Trade Deadline Report Card last week, but there’s no way that we can’t continue to rant on the Phoenix Suns for the way that they handled the Amare Stoudemire situation. Phoenix clearly doesn’t want Stoudemire’s contract hanging around any long, and in spite of the fact that he leads the team in scoring, they talked for three weeks about getting rid of him. That angered the big man and took away some effective games from him. And when all was said and done, Phoenix traded him to… oh that’s right. The Suns never did move him. Now, Phoenix has a few more months of Stoudemire’s contract and, assuming that he doesn’t exercise his $17M option for next year, will be left with nothing but some extra cap space for 2011.

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What’s up with the Houston Rockets anyway? Wasn’t this team supposed to get a heck of a lot better by getting rid of Tracy McGrady and bringing in a bunch of pieces to the puzzle that were supposed to make this a playoff team? Don’t blame Kevin Martin and Jared Jeffries. Martin’s put up 27 combined points in his two games as a Rocket, and Jeffries was one rebound shy of a double-double on Sunday, but all that was accomplished this week was a dud loss in the Bayou and a smack down at the hands of the Pacers at home. That won’t get Houston to the playoffs. The only thing that that will do is move HC Rick Adelman a lot closer to the unemployment lines.

Just two weeks ago, a lot of college basketball pundits thought that the Villanova Wildcats had a gripe to be the overall #1 seed of the upcoming NCAA Tournament (click here for our latest look at the March Madness odds). Now, losses to Pitt on the road and at home against UConn have them spiraling out of control heading towards the Big East Tournament. It’s bad enough that the Cats would probably be on the #2 line if March Madness started today, but coming up is a roadie at the Carrier Dome. Yikes! Things could get a lot worse before they get better for Villanova.

Grading the NBA Trade Deadline

February 19th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Grading the NBA Trade Deadline

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Even though the 2010 NBA trade deadline wasn’t as active as some might’ve thought, there is still plenty of room for discussion. Here at Bankroll Sports, we’re issuing our grades for how teams did under the pressure of Thursday’s deadline.

New York Knicks: A+: There weren’t any teams that did a better job at the deadline than the Knicks. New York knew that it wasn’t competing for a championship this year, but it did successfully dump the salaries of Jordan Hill, Jordan Jeffries, Larry Hughes, Nate Robinson, and Darko Milicic in exchange for a couple first rounders and having to deal with Tracy McGrady’s garbage for the next couple months. Add G Sergio Rodriguez to the mix from Sacramento, and New York knows that these prudent deals can set it up nicely for a run at both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the offseason.

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Houston Rockets: A: The Rockets really answered the trade by the Mavericks by adding a host of talent from the Knicks and Kings in that three-way deal. Plus, they’re rid of Tracy McGrady now as well and will pick up a couple of picks from New York in the future. The biggest question for HC Rick Adelman is whether he’ll be able to find roles for all of his new starts.

Dallas Mavericks: B+: Any time you can pick up an All-Star, you tend to pull out the stops, but did the Mavs give up a little too much by dealing Josh Howard and Drew Gooden to DC? Caron Butler had better push Dallas into the playoffs an give F Dirk Nowitzki a good counterpart, or Mark Cuban may be regretting this move. All in all though, the Mavericks are probably a better team now than they were before the All-Star Break.

Cleveland Cavaliers: B: The question here isn’t whether GM Danny Ferry would’ve preferred Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire coming to town or not. The question is whether LeBron James would’ve rather have Stoudemire over Antawn Jamison. Still, as we suggested in our article a couple days ago, Cleveland needed to do something to make sure that The King stayed happy, and this move only made things a heck of a lot harder for the rest of the teams in the Eastern Conference. If the Cavs don’t win the East now, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Utah Jazz: B-: The Jazz get a decent grade for not making a move that they might’ve regretted. Utah is probably going to make the playoffs, and had it dealt Carlos Boozer, that might not have ultimately been the case.

Miami Heat: C: Kudos to the Heat for not giving up too much to get either Amare Stoudemire, Antawn Jamison, or Carlos Boozer. Miami just needs to convince Dwyane Wade that it is really in it to win him another championship, and it might take a big free agent signing to do just that.

Sacramento Kings: D: Who knows what the Kings were thinking by trading away Kevin Martin and Sergio Rodriguez. There wasn’t a heck of a lot that came back Sacramento’s way. It’s pretty clear that the Kings came out as the butt of that three-team deal with the Rockets and Knicks.

Washington Wizards: D-: If you’re a Washington fan, what reasons do you have to show up to the games anymore? No more Gilbert Arenas, no more Antawn Jamison, and no more Caron Butler. The only good news is that this team couldn’t get much worse than it already was, so it may as well try to start over again.

Phoenix Suns: F: No one deserves a worse grade than the Suns at the trade deadline. How on earth can you sit there and shop Amare Stoudemire for weeks and weeks and ultimately do nothing? Take a box of basketballs for him for crying out loud! Now, their leading scorer is disgruntled and probably will be for the rest of the year. Phoenix may not make the postseason, and if that’s the case, heads should role in the desert.

The Weekly Sports Betting Rap Sheet (2/15/10)

February 15th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in General Handicapping   Comments Off on The Weekly Sports Betting Rap Sheet (2/15/10)

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Even though many in the sports world were looking into 2010 Winter Olympics odds over the course of the week, there was still plenty left to rant about in the major sports. Here’s a look at my rap sheet for the teams, players, and situations that cost we, the sports nation some valuable coin.

Rap Sheet Picture of the Week
The crash of two Korean speed skaters on the final turn of Saturday night’s race that allowed American
Apolo Ohno to take the silver medal and prevented South Korea from sweeping the podium.

I could just rant all week about the Big East. We’ll start with you, Notre Dame Fighting Irish. I thought you wanted to really go dancing at some point so that you could say that you didn’t totally waste four years of having C Luke Harangody on your roster. At least you stuck in front of the college basketball betting line against Seton Hall, but what gives about losing at home to the Johnnies? You’re not exempt of this one either, Louisville Cardinals. Yeah, yeah, that win against Syracuse was really nice on Sunday, but truth be told, that only made up for your complete 74-55 dud against St. John’s on Thursday. Speaking of upsets that make no sense whatsoever… Hey Connecticut Huskies, how do you ever expect to make March Madness when you’re only score 48 points at home against Cincinnati? Your four top scorers should be worth more than that every single night! Finally, Georgetown Hoyas, you just stink. Rutgers is awful. Period. A-W-F-U-L, awful! There’s no excuse, even on the road, for you to be losing to a team like that. And you think you’re a #2 seed in the dance? The only thing you’re number two in right now is my doghouse.

Man, Houston Rockets… You were the probably the worst of the worst last week down in South Beach. How do you only score 66 points in an NBA game? I mean seriously, how is that possible? Yeah, fine. So you were without Gs Kyle Lowry and Trevor Ariza. I get it. You were shorthanded. Me and four other boards with angry faces could probably shoot better than 30.2% from the field for a game, and I’m only 5’7″ on a good day. Oh, by the way… Don’t think that I’m not looking at you G Aaron Brooks. You can’t shoot 3/16 from the floor by yourself in a game.

How’s about a little more effort here, Air Force Falcons. Ok, so you were 22.5-point underdogs going into Provo against BYU on Saturday. Fine. At least try to pretend like you can win the game. Instead, you got rolled up, getting outscored 53-20 in the first half and ultimately losing 91-48. Your 22 turnovers made you look like a circus out there on the court. The Bad News Bears may have done better than that.

Nice week, G Antero Niittymaki. There’s a reason that the Lightning just can’t quite seem to get over the hump once and for all and crack back into the Eastern Conference postseason. After putting up a stretch of games that had everyone in Tampa Bay holding up “Getting Niitty With It” signs, he gave up four goals in the first period of Thursday night’s game against the Bruins, and followed that up by conceding five two nights later against the Islanders. Oh by the way, G Mike Smith, you’re not exempt from this one either. Giving up four against the Rangers on the final day of the regular season before the NHL hockey season took a hiatus for the Olympics wasn’t swift either.

2009 NBA Playoff Preview

April 12th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on 2009 NBA Playoff Preview

The NBA regular season will end later this week as we head towards the post-season. The Cleveland Cavaliers have locked up home court advantage throughout their Eastern Conference playoff run and are one game away from clinching home court advantage in the NBA Finals if they can make it that far in the playoffs. The Cavaliers are coming off a huge blowout win over the defending Champions the Boston Celtics 107-76 on Sunday. The Cavaliers big win over the number 2 ranked team in the East is actually Cleveland’s biggest victory in franchise history over the Celtics. The Cavaliers amazing home game run extended to a mark of 38-1 inside Quicken Loans Arena with the victory. The Cavaliers appear to be big favorites considering they will get the majority of the games at home were they have been unstoppable. However, the Eastern Conference has been extremely tough this year as Orlando blew out Cleveland a few short weeks ago similar to the Cavaliers big win over Boston. The 3 horse race all season out of the East will carry over to the post-season. In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers are still the big favorites after a big win over Denver last Thursday night. The return of Andrew Bynum will only be more beneficial for the Lakers who have appeared as the top notch team in the West all season. However teams like Denver, Houston, and Portland have really closed out the year strong and could be teams to put together impressive runs in the playoffs. We give brief breakdown of the major contenders for the 2009 NBA Playoffs along with their odds to win it all.

Eastern Conference

Cleveland Cavaliers (7/5)

The Cavaliers extremely impressive home record makes them big favorites in the NBA playoffs. Their 38-1 record is among the best ever string of runs by a home team in NBA history. Lebron James is averaged 28.3 points per game, but more importantly is getting a lot of help from the rest of the team. Cleveland only lost one game all season at home meaning for them to be beaten in the playoffs a team is going to have to win at least one game in Cleveland while sweeping the Cavaliers away from Cleveland. Good luck with that.

Boston Celtics (4/1)

The Celtics chances to repeat as NBA Champions took a big hit with their embarrassing loss to Cleveland. However, Boston has played very well to close out the season winning 8 of their last 10 games. The Celtics are another team that plays very well at home with a 34-6 record for the season. However, Boston is only 4-4 against Orlando and Cleveland on the year meaning they have been anything but dominant over the top teams in the East. Still the Celtics know what it takes to be Champions, but can they do it again?

Orlando Magic (8/1)

The Magic got the big win over Cleveland back in the first week of April, but they have now lost 3 of their last 4 games. Orlando got off to a tremendous start to the season, but really suffered a hit with the loss of Jameer Nelson despite putting together some solid winning streaks in recent weeks. Also, Rashard Lewis will likely miss the final games of the regular season with a knee injury and the Magic simply look to be too banged up down the stretch to be a legitimate threat as they appeared earlier this year.

Team to Watch – Chicago Bulls (100/1)

The Chicago Bulls have won 4 straight games and 12 of their last 15 games during that stretch. Chicago has put together a solid home record this season that is always crucial during the post season. If the Bulls can keep up the momentum and get some more big performances from Ben Gordon, they could really pull off a string off upsets and perhaps take down either Boston or Orlando who they will be likely playing in the opening round.

Western Conference

Los Angeles Lakers (8/5)

Thursday night’s victory over the emerging Denver Nuggets was icing on the cake for Western Conference bragging rights. The Lakers simply looked too strong for their closest competitors in the West and are big favorites at 4/9 favorites to make it to the NBA Finals. The Lakers got beat by a streaking Portland team on Friday 106-98, but they still appear to be too strong in terms of being beat in an entire series. The Lakers have had more problems with the teams in the Eastern Conference this season and until someone proves us wrong we will ride the Lakers bandwagon.

Denver Nuggets (20/1)

The Nuggets are really playing well to close out the season despite their setback to the Lakers last Thursday. Carmelo Anthony and J.R Smith are becoming a dynamic duo posting big figures every night. The Nuggets have put together wins in 13 of their last 15 games The Nuggets could face the Dallas Mavericks in the opening round if things were to stay the same. Denver would not mind the pairing considering they are a perfect 4-0 on the season against Dallas. If the Nuggets could keep the momentum rolling I am sure they will be eager to get their chance at a series with the Lakers.

Portland Trailblazers (25/1)

The Trailblazers are in a heated battle with the Houston Rockets for 3rd place in the West as both teams stand at a mark of 52-28. The Trailblazers and the Rockets have also both put on a solid 4 game winning streak as Portland will get the Thunder and the Nuggets in the final two games. The battle for 3rd dictates whether they will get New Orleans or San Antonio in the playoffs. The Trailblazers have played the most solid basketball the 2nd half of the season and they should give teams problems if they can stay hot.

Team to watch – Houston Rockets (20/1)

The Rockets have put together 4 straight wins along with Portland. The only difference is Houston beat up on the Trailblazers 102-88 to start their winning streak. The Rockets have what it takes to match-up with the other teams from the West in the playoffs giving them a chance to knock off some wins in the postseason. The only thing is the Rockets have failed to beat the Lakers once this season at 0-4 meaning any dream type run at an NBA Finals may be more of a dream than a reality.