LA Clippers vs Houston Rockets: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: LA Clippers defeat Houston Rockets.

How to Watch

What LA Clippers at Houston Rockets
Where Toyota Center, Houston, TX
When Thursday, 5 March 2020, 8:00 PM EST
How to Watch (TV/Radio) TNT, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, | AM 570 LA Sports, 790 KBME & 740 KTRH / 850 KEYH & 101.7 FM

LA Clippers (Away)

Head Coach: Doc Rivers {All-Time 936-677 | ORL, BOS, LAC}

Season Record: 42-19

Projected Starting Five: (G) Patrick Beverley – (G) Paul George – (F) Kawhi Leonard – (F) Marcus Morris – (C) Ivica Zubac

Top Performers

  • (F) Kawhi Leonard – 32.3 MPG | 27.0 PPG | 7.5 RPG | 5.2 APG
  • (G) Paul George – 29.1 MPG | 21.2 PPG | 5.8 RPG | .401 3P%
  • (G) Lou Williams – 29.6 MPG | 19.2 PPG | 5.9 APG | .366 3P%

The LA Clippers remain in the upper echelon of the NBA. With a record of 42-19, they trail the first-place Lakers by a mere five games. They have been tremendous at the Staples center, but have been quite average on the road with a 17-13 record.

The Clippers are coming off of a dominant win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Thunder have been surprised all season long, the Clippers put in a more than professional, defensive effort to take the match.

LA will have to deal with the offensive versatility of the Houston Rockets. Two seemingly unstoppable forces in Westbrook and Harden will be challenged by the defensive acumen of Leonard and George.

Houston Rockets (Home)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time 667-520 | DEN, PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU}

Season Record: 39-21

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

Top Performers

  • (G) James Harden – 36.8 MPG | 34.9 PPG | 7.4 APG | 6.3 RPG
  • (G) Russell Westbrook – 36.1 MPG | 27.5 PPG | 7.9 RPG | 7.1 APG
  • (G) Eric Gordon – 28.7 MPG | 14.8 PPG | 1.9 APG | .326 3P%

The Houston Rockets have looked brilliant since they decided to commit to small ball entirely. They are fourth in the Western Conference and own an impressive 21-8 record at home.

The Rockets are coming off of a disappointing loss to the New York Knicks. Their biggest issue came to bare in their loss, as their liberal offensive game plan opened up an efficient counterattack by the Knicks. Rookie star RJ Barrett buried them with the late winner.

Houston’s defense will be tested again when they take on the LA Clippers. Strong and versatile everywhere on the court, the Rockets won’t be able to hide the likes of Harden or Westbrook defensively.

What’s at Stake?

The LA Clippers and the Houston Rockets have a rather one-sided rivalry. Over the course of 140 regular-season meetings, the Rockets lead the Clippers 88-52.

A win for the LA Clippers would bring them within 4.5 games of the first-place Los Angeles Lakers.

A win for the Houston Rockets would bring them within a single game of the third-place Denver Nuggets.

Questions to Answer

Is the Clippers’ health a sign of things to come?

Will the Rockets find their offensive-defensive balance?

We are going to compare the LA Clippers and the Houston Rockets in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

LAC: Health is the Key

With a roster as talented as the LA Clippers, there is not much to criticize about them. If there is any issue that they have, it is their management of player injuries and health.

Kawhi Leonard has only played 47 of 60 games this season while Paul George has played 38 of 60. As the most important players on the roster, they need to combine more often if they hope to steal first place in the East.

It must be noted that the Clippers are undefeated with a fully healthy roster. They are 9-0 when the entire team is available to dress, regardless of who takes the court. Should the Clippers bring the whole squad, they are the clear favorites against the Rockets.

HOU: Offence-Defence

The Houston Rockets will also find themselves criticized because of Mike D’Antoni’s free-running offense. They play at breakneck speed but leave themselves open to the fast-break themselves.

While the Rockets played well against the Knicks in their last loss, they struggled to manage either the paint or the perimeter. Their small lineup was shredded in the paint by Taj Gibson, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson who combined for 49 of their 65 rebounds.

Houston can’t risk another weak night on the glass. Their inability to cope in the paint only opens up shooters when they overcompensate. Considering the Clippers are eighth in the league in paint points, the Rockets must protect the rim as much as they want to get out and score.

LA Clippers Roster Notes

The LA Clippers have no roster changes of note.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

The Houston Rockets have no roster changes of note.

Head-to-Head: (F) Marcus Morris vs (F) Robert Covington

Two impact role players, acquired mid-season, face off in our head-to-head of the evening. Marcus Morris is a tough defender and underrated scorer, while Robert Covington, in his second stint with the Rockets, is a premier three-and-D threat.

(F) Marcus Morris (6-8, 235lb (203cm, 106kg) | Kansas | 8 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 30 NYK-LAL 51 31.9 18.2 5.2 1.4 .439 .425

Give some credit to Marcus Morris. After being on a New York Knicks team for 44 games, he’s adjusted well to a backseat role on a successful LA Clippers team.

He is everything the Clippers want out of their power forward position. Versatile defensively and offensively, and able to spell the scoring load of Leonard and George. He, along with others, will have to be dominant in the paint.

(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 58 29.9 12.9 6.4 1.2 .432 .350

Robert Covington has been fantastic for the Rockets in his second stint with the Texan club.

In ten games he’s averaged 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game. Add to that he’s shooting 36.4% from deep, Covington fits perfectly into D’Antoni’s game plan. To punish the Clippers, Covington will be tasked with guarding both Clippers’ stars at various points in the match.

LA Clippers vs Houston Rockets Game Odds

The odds for the Clippers vs Rockets will be updated as soon as they are made available by the sportsbooks. For more NBA odds visit bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and William Hill NJ.
Bet $50 Get $50 (in cash) by using the promo code WSN50 on William Hill.

Sportsbook Clippers Rockets
bet365 NJ -120 +100
DraftKings -113 -105
William Hill NJ -110 -110

LA Clippers at Houston Rockets FAQ

Will the LA Clippers Win Against the Rockets?

The LA Clippers are strong in every area of the court. To take advantage of this small-ball Rockets team though, the Clippers will have to establish themselves in the paint. Zubac isn’t a classic post-scoring big man, so the Clippers will have to open the lanes for their wing players to attack.

Will the Houston Rockets Win Against the Clippers?

The Houston Rockets can outscore any team in the NBA. Add on top of that that Westbrook and Harden are unstoppable scorers, the Rockets have the edge offensively. For the Rockets to win this game, they’ll have to control the glass and protect the paint. Their perimeter defense has proven to be more than sufficient.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: LA Clippers defeat Houston Rockets.

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