Houston Rockets (10-14, 3-10 road) vs. OKC Thunder (17-8, 8-4 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.7 (12th), Rockets– 110.0 (8th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.3 (18th), Rockets – 109.4 (21st)
Pace: Thunder – 93.0 (13th), Rockets – 95.1 (6th)
View from the enemy: Red 94
Really no reason to drop this one. The Rockets are playing better but this is an important homestand for the Thunder to stretch out with a few wins. And another comfortable edge would be pretty nice, actually.
Houston coming in: The Rockets have won five of seven, but are coming off a game against Sacramento in Houston last night.
We’ve already seen the Rockets a good amount, so we know what they do. In their win over the Thunder, they did it on the offensive glass and Shane Battier got hot from outside. Kevin Martin is always dangerous and someone Thabo has to devote his full attention to.
Luis Scola will be something to keep an eye on inside, as he’s one of the best forwards in the game. Jeff Green and Serge Ibaka (who will start against for Nenad Krstic) will have to do a good job keeping Scola off the glass and out of the paint.
I don’t know if Terrence Williams will be available tonight, but if he is, he’ll give them a scoring boost.
Really, this is a game OKC should and needs to win. The Rockets will be worn down, they’re still hurting and the Thunder’s at home and supposedly the superior team. It might be a bit of a grinder, but as long as the Thunder keeps defending the way they have recently, I think it should be a business-like win.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thunder.
(Heads up on something cool: The downtown restaurant The Whole Enchilada opens up two hours before tip-off and has great specials. Go check it out!)