Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: Houston Rockets defeat Golden State Warriors.

How to Watch

What: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

When: Thursday, 20 February 2020, 10:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT | 790 KBME & 740 KTRH / 850 KEYH & 101.7 FM, 95.7 The Game

Houston Rockets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time DEN, PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU | 662-519}

Season Record: 34-20

Projected Starting Five: (G) Russell Westbrook – (G) James Harden – (F) Robert Covington – (F) Danuel House – (F) PJ Tucker

Top Performers

  • (G) James Harden – 37.1 MPG | 35.3 PPG | 7.3 APG | 6.5 RPG
  • (G) Russell Westbrook – 36.0 MPG | 27.2 PPG | 7.2 APG | 8.0 RPG
  • (G) Eric Gordon – 29.4 MPG | 15.3 PPG | 2.0 RPG | .332 3P%

The Houston Rockets have found themselves on the outside looking in on the top four of the Western Conference. After a hot start to the season, they’ve been exploited on the defensive side and have fallen down the rankings.

The Rockets have been on a positive streak since their big February trade of Clint Capela though. They were able to take down a dangerous Boston Celtics team, through sheer offensive firepower.

Houston takes on a gritty team in the Golden State Warriors. While they sit at the bottom of the NBA, they’ve more than shown their ability to run with the best of the league through effort alone.

Golden State Warriors (Home)

Head Coach: Steve Kerr {All-Time 334-131 | GSW}

Season Record: 12-43

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damion Lee – (G) Jordan Poole – (F) Andrew Wiggins – (F) Draymond Green – (C) Marquese Chriss

Top Performers

  • (F) Andrew Wiggins – 33.0 MPG | 23.0 PPG | 2.7 RPG | .675 eFG%
  • (G) Stephen Curry – 28.0 MPG | 20.3 PPG | 6.5 APG | 5.0 RPG
  • (F) Eric Paschall – 26.7 MPG | 13.2 PPG | 4.7 RPG | .531 eFG%

It’s no secret that the Golden State Warriors are in a pseudo-rebuild mode. Currently, at the bottom of the Western Conference, Steve Kerr’s team is filled with effort if not the skill to compete at a high-level.

The Warriors are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Phoenix Suns. While they were able to find more rhythm in the second half, their quality was exposed in the final quarter of play.

They are a severe underdog against the Houston Rockets. Not strong offensively and scrappy at best on the defensive side, the Warriors will need to summon a new strength if they want to upset the Western Conference power.

What’s at Stake?

The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors maintain a one-sided rivalry, despite recent history. Over 192 regular-season meetings, the Rockets lead the Warriors 113-79.

A win for the Houston Rockets would bring them to 1.5 games behind the fourth-place Utah Jazz.

A win for the Golden State Warriors would keep them in place at last in the Western Conference.

Questions to Answer

Have the Houston Rockets found their identity?

Will the Golden State Warriors’ effort win out?

We are going to compare the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

HOU: Can the Rockets Find Their New Style?

Since the trade of Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks, the Houston Rockets have fully committed to a small ball style of play. We’ve seen some varied results, but the acquit ions of Robert Covington, Bruno Caboclo, Jeff Green, and Demarre Carroll are only reinforcing their position.

In their four games since the trade, the Rockets are 2-2. Winning against the Lakers and Celtics, but losing to the Suns and the Jazz. The Rockets have shown that they can defeat teams that look to play them straight up but struggle against those that actively look to exploit them in weaker positions.

Against the Warriors, the Rockets will see another test. The Warriors may not be incredibly talented, but they have the active game plan to challenge their defensive schemes. The Rockets will need to shore up the paint if they hope to defend against the fearless Warriors’ rim-attack.

GSW: Heart, Hustle, and Grit

The Golden State Warriors are filled with young, hungry, and active players. They struggle to score and stop the ball with the best of them. But when it comes to heart, they are unmatched. Difficult to quantify, the Warriors’ work rate shows up in key places on the stat sheet.

Golden State attack other teams with a very blue-collar effort. They are 11th in the NBA in free-throw attempts per game, sixth in steals, and fourth in turnovers forced. They are a team filled with energy, who use said energy to force teams into uncharacteristic mistakes.

To beat the Rockets the Warriors will have to enforce their defensive game plan to perfection. Golden State already scores 16.4% of their points off of opponent turnovers. They’ll need to maintain that effort and more if they hope to upset the favorite Houston Rockets.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

(G) Eric Gordon – 10 Feb 2020 – Out (Leg) – Gordon will be out until after the All-Star break, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

(F) Bruno Caboclo – 9 Feb 2020 – Out (Knee) – Caboclo said he expects to return from injury after the All-Star break.

Golden State Warriors Roster Notes

(C) Kevon Looney – 12 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Illness) – Looney did not play in Wednesday’s (Feb. 12) game.

(G) Stephen Curry – 1 Feb 2020 – Out (Hand) – The Warriors announced that Curry will be re-evaluated in four weeks and hope he returns to game action in March.

(G) Klay Thompson – 23 Oct 2019 – Out (Left Knee ACL Tear) – Thompson is not expected to play this season as he recovers from an ACL tear late last season, according to a report from NBC Sports Bay Area.

Head-to-Head: (F) Robert Covington vs (F) Andrew Wiggins

The matchup of the night is one of an offense versus defense nature. Robert Covington rejoined the Rocket as another three-and-D weapon while Andrew Wiggins will be the star of the team with the departure of D’Angelo Russell.

(F) Robert Covington (6-7, 211lb (201cm, 95kg) | Tennessee State | 6 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 29 MIN-HOU 52 29.6 12.8 6.0 1.2 .433 .346

RoCo was a fantastic acquisition for the Houston Rockets. He’ll be tasked with containing Andrew Wiggins. With his 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game, he certainly shows that he has the defensive versatility to do so. His size and switching ability are crucial to the Rockets’ defensive success.

(F) Andrew Wiggins (6-7, 194lb (201cm, 87kg) | Kansas | 5 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 24 MIN-GSW 45 34.5 22.5 5.0 3.7 .451 .341

There is criticism abound when it comes to Andrew Wiggins, but in the few games he’s played with the Golden State Warriors he’s shown that he is more than capable of revitalizing his career. Shooting 53% from deep on five attempts per game, Wiggins has certainly bought into the culture of the Warriors. Consistency will be the key for him.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Predictions

Why the Houston Rockets Will Win

It’s no secret as to what the Rockets will do. They will take this match due to their near unrivaled offensive firepower and the Warriors’ inability to keep up. After sacrificing the interior game, the Rockets’ quality on the perimeter will win them the day.

Why the Golden State Warriors Will Win

In their few wins, the Warriors have dominated both the glass and the passing game. When they play selfless, movement-oriented basketball, the young Warriors can compete with anyone. With a new roster, Andrew Wiggins will have to show his star qualities.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: Houston Rockets defeat Golden State Warriors.

Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors Odds

The odds for Rockets vs Warriors are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

Sportsbook Rockets Warriors
DraftKings -500 +390
888Sport NJ -500 +380

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