The NBA season is back tonight, and we go straight in early on this time with a pick in order to try and take advantage of some poor lines early on.
OKC Thunder -3.5 to beat HOU Rockets @ 1.83 (Bet365) – 3 points
The Houston Rockets play on the 2nd of a back to back after getting thrashed by Miami last night and now have to make the journey back home to take on an Oklahoma City Thunder team who is extremely refreshed after a big 24 point win last night as well as having their starters well rested especially Westbrook and Durant playing only 27 minutes a piece. The Thunder looked extremely efficient with the ball with 7 players getting into double figures. The Tempo set by Durant and Westbrook this season has been fantastic as they have been efficient with the ball scoring almost a point a minute for the time they have been playing on the court.
The Thunder have also relied well on the 3-point ball getting into the top 8 in number of shots made as well as in 3rd spot on the 3-point shooting percentage. With Durant, Westbrook, Augstin, Waiters, Singler & Morrow among the players who can net it from down town; they are poised to be a dangerous team on the offensive end.
Houston Rockets struggled again last night after taking a 21 point lead, and then ended up losing 20 points instead. They have completely lost the art of defending in recent times, and they struggles are well documented as they have gone 0-3 with all 20 point plus losses. Last night they missed Dwight Howard in the centre due to a suspension, but he should be back fit for tonight. They will still have less impact in the middle with Montejunas and Jones likely to continue to miss this game. Their 3 point shooting percentage is abysmal as they are shooting only 24.5% taking 94 shots in 3 games; which is necessary when they got a shorter lineup. They are also the 3rd lowest scorers in the NBA this season and James Harden’s struggles are a clear example on why this is happening. He netted only 2 buckets and missed 10 3-point shots last night while playing 40 minutes.
The Thunder have been winning games by outscoring their opponents in all the games so far, and I expect them to continue to tear it down tonight as well.
LA Clippers v PHX Suns – Griffin Over 25.5 points @ 1.85 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
Blake Griffin has been in stellar form heading into this encounter averaging 32 points per game with the lowest score he netted was 26 points.
Griffin’s success has been the return of DeAndre Jordan who keeps the player in the middle occupied, while he runs the pick and roll offence with Chris Paul. Griffin has been aggressive this season, taking it to the rim and scoring almost a point a minute that he has been on the floor this campaign. Griffin has been taking it hard to the rack attempting 9 free-throws per game while netting almost 7 of them. He also tends to grab at least 2 offensive rebounds and when he is in the paint, he is going for the slam dunk to finish those points off.
Griffin has improved his range a lot and finds himself in a lot of pick and pop positions from around 16-19 feet range when he plays it with Paul. Griffin also is a handful on the fast break, and is among the few Clippers who are already ahead of the game when Paul or any player as the ball looking for an outlet.
Griffin will enjoy taking on the Suns tonight against whom he has averaged 26 points per game over the the 8 games played against Phoenix over the last 2 seasons. It has especially been easier since last season since the Suns do not boast a true Power Forward and have had some average centres. This time they have Tyson Chandler in the middle, but if Jordan draws him away, Griffin will find plenty of space to work with.
I expect Griffin to continue his great form, especially in front of their home fans, he should put in a performance.
NBA ACCA @ 4.51 (Bet365) – 1 point
CLE Cavaliers -7 to beat PHI 76ers
SA Spurs -4 to beat NY Knicks
OKC Thunder to beat HOU Rockets
LA Clippers v PHX Suns Over 202 points
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