Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game 6 Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Houston Rockets look to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference first round.
- The Thunder were blown out by 34 in their last meeting against the Rockets.
- James Harden leads all scorers in the series with 31.8 points per game.
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Rockets vs Thunder Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Houston Rockets||-5.5 -113||O 226 -112||-230|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+5.5 -107||U 226 -109||+188|
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Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions and Picks
The Thunder have struggled to keep up with the Rockets’ scoring and we believe that will be their undoing. We see the Texas-based Rockets closing out the series.
How to Watch Rockets vs Thunder
|Rockets vs Thunder Information|
|What||Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Monday, August 31st, 2020; 9:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||TNT|
Head-to-Head: Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder
|Houston Rockets||Head-to-Head||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Mike D’Antoni||Head Coach||Billy Donovan|
|44-28 (4th in West, 8th Overall)||Standing||44-28 (5th in West, 9th Overall)|
|112.9 (6th of 30)||Off Rtg||110.8 (16th of 30)|
|110.1 (14th of 30)||Def Rtg||108.8 (7th of 30)|
|103.7 (3rd of 30)||Pace||98.8 (22nd of 30)|
Playoff Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Harden (32.0)||PPG||C. Paul (21.5)|
|J. Harden (7.8)||RPG||S. Adams (11.0)|
|J. Harden (8.8)||APG||C. Paul (4.8)|
|J. Harden (2.0)||SPG||C. Paul (1.5)|
|R. Covington (1.3)||BPG||L. Dort (1.3)|
|J. Green (.565)/J. Harden (10.0)||FG%/FGM||S. Adams (.621)/C. Paul (8.5)|
|J. Green (.481)/J. Harden (4.3)||3P%/3PM||D. Bazely (.600)/T-Gilgeous-Alexander, Paul (2.3)|
Houston’s Ball Movement is the Key
In Houston’s 34-point victory against the Thunder, the Rockets were able to take advantage of their competition due to their incredible ball movement.
The majority of their play has come through the creation of James Harden and the newly returned Russell Westbrook. When on the court, the two account for almost 40% of assists on the court.
Houston’s combination of sharpshooting and passing has been the engine for their system. They had 28 assists and 19 made threes in Game 5 against the Thunder. If Houston can maintain the efficiency of their scoring, they can book their ticket into the second round.
Can the Thunder Keep Up with Houston’s Attack?
The Thunder have struggled to keep up with the Rockets’ intense scoring rate in this series. Despite having the advantage in the paint, they’ve struggled to convert on shots from deep.
In-Game 5 against Houston, the Thunder were dreadful from the field. Not only did they shoot a paltry 31.5% from the field, but they also shot a dreadful 15.2% from three-point range.
There’s no beating around the bush for Oklahoma City. While their defence can be solid, it is worthless if they can’t convert on the other end. Players like Luguentz Dort, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander must be threats scoring the ball if they hope to stave off elimination.
Rockets Key Player: (G) Russell Westbrook
Here’s a great example of how Westbrook’s presence changes the defensive equation for OKC. Adams refuses to give Russ a driving lane, which gets Tucker a wide-open 3. #OneMission pic.twitter.com/TohlfoyZLO
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) August 29, 2020
After sitting out for the first four games of the first round, Russell Westbrook made his 2020 Playoff debut in Game 5. He wasn’t particularly productive on the scoring end, particularly in terms of his efficiency.
In his first game back Westbrook was three of 13 from the field in 23 minutes of play. He still contributed in other ways, collecting six rebounds and seven assists.
Westbrook likely won’t be back to top form in Game 6, but being able to spell James Harden’s offensive load, even for a short amount of time, is crucial. Should Westbrook start quickly in Game 6, the Thunder likely won’t have the personnel to stay competitive.
Thunder Key Player: (G-F) Luguentz Dort
Luguentz Dort is doing an exceptional job guarding James Harden. This is really as good as it gets. He’s very stalky, strong core (never seen Harden bounce off someone) he has long arms and is so laterally quick. He has the attributes to really get in his shot as well. So tough. pic.twitter.com/q6pZJ1DDKD
— Ball Don’t Stop (@balldontstop) August 26, 2020
Luguentz Dort is on the court for his defensive prowess. The strong and stout Canadian broke into the Thunder rotation late into the season, but his impact has spurred them on to their surprising success.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, Dort tends to struggle on the offensive end. His struggles were no more apparent than in Game 5 against the Houston Rockets. In 23 minutes of play Dort was three of 16 from the field and an embarrassing zero for nine from three.
If the Thunder want to win Game 6 they must get some offensive production from Dort. He and countryman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander combined for a meagre 10 points on five of 24 shooting. Dort can’t allow his team to play four-on-five on offence.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]