Charlotte Hornets @ Houston Rockets / NBA – Houston Rockets play the best basketball in the NBA at the moment, while their winning streak is nine games long. Their guests are the Hornets, who won just two out of 12 away games. However, one of those two wins was achieved right ahead of this game with the Rockets, and the victim was the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Begins: 13.12.2017 – 09:30 ET
The Rockets are by far the best team in the NBA; its score is 21 wins and 4 loses. As we have said in the introduction they won nine previous games, out of which five played at home. It is interesting that they suffered the last defeat right in front of their fans by Toronto 113-129. This is going to be the second game this season with the Hornets, and they won the first one played in Charlotte 109-93, mostly thanks to good last quarter that they won by 12 points difference. Harden had triple-double in that game, while Gordon and Anderson had scored 26 and 21 points, respectively.
Harden is expectedly the best player this season, who averages 32 points, 9.5 assists and 5.2 rebound (he is at the same time the first scorer and second assistant in the whole league), while team’s second shooter Gordon averaged 19 points. Recovered Paul had added a new dimension to the team; with 14.8 points, 9.5 assists and 5 rebounds he makes with two previously mentioned players one of most dangerous backcourt trios in the NBA. Centre Capela had made a significant progress as he has double-double 13.7 points and 11 rebounds, while power forward Anderson is always dangerous, especially when he shoots for three points.
Probable lineups Houston Rockets: Paul, Harden, Ariza, Anderson, Capela
The Hornets know that don’t play well outside their arena but the situation improved a bit with victory in Oklahoma over the Thunder, which happened right before this away game with Houston. Everything speaks in favour of the home team but the Hornets will not surrender. Regardless of defeat in the first game they played well and now they know what needs to be done better. That primarily means improvement in free throws (only centre Howard missed 10 of them), and they need to better play in keys on both sides of the court.
Houston scores on average even 16 three-pointers and the Hornets will have to think about that too. That is why their backcourt will be under pressure, and the situation is more difficult due to Batum absence. Howard has motive to prove himself against his former team, but he will miss assistance from Zeller, who is also injured. The Hornets need solid shooting from the field (against Oklahoma it was at very good 53%), since it was their week spot in the first game with the Rockets. By now, they have 10 wins and 16 defeats, and are currently only the 13th placed team in the Eastern Conference.
Probable lineups Charlotte Hornets: Walker, Lamb, Kidd-Gilchrist, Williams, Howard
Charlotte Hornets @ Houston Rockets PICK
Houston not only has nine-game winning streak but it lost just one out of last 17 games! The Hornets won’t have an easy time in this game with the Rockets and can only hope that their hosts have a bad day as that is the only thing that can prevent their disaster.
Pick: Houston -12,5 points
Odds: 1.93 at William Hill (down to 1.83 can be played)