Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets Game 2 Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Thunder lost the first three quarters of Game 1 by 21 points.
- There is still no timetable for Russell Westbrook’s return.
- The Houston Rockets made 20 three-pointers in their victory.
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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+2 -109||O 228 +106||+110|
|Houston Rockets||-2 -112||U 228 -129||-130|
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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets Predictions and Picks
The Rockets dominated Game 1 due to their pace and ability to shut down OKC’s perimeter players. We expect more of the same in Game 2, as the Thunder struggled to keep up with the Rockets’ tempo.
Houston Rockets def. Oklahoma City Thunder -130
Houston -2 -112
Over 228 +106
How to Watch Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets
|Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets Information|
|What||Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Thursday, August 20th, 2020; 3:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
Head-to-Head: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Head-to-Head||Houston Rockets|
|Billy Donovan||Head Coach||Mike D’Antoni|
|44-28 (5th in West, 9th Overall)||Standing||44-28 (4th in West, 8th Overall)|
|110.8 (16th of 30)||Off Rtg||112.9 (6th of 30)|
|108.8 (7th of 30)||Def Rtg||110.1 (14th of 30)|
|98.8 (22nd of 30)||Pace||103.7 (3rd of 30)|
Playoff Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Gallinari (29.0)||PPG||J. Harden (37.0)|
|S. Adams (12.0)||RPG||J. Harden (11.0)|
|C. Paul (9.0)||APG||D. House (5.0)|
|C. Paul (2.0)||SPG||T-Caboclo, Covington, Green, McLemore (1.0)|
|T-Gallinari, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel (1.0)||BPG||R. Covington (1.0)|
|M. Muscala (1.00)/D. Gallinari (9.0)||FG%/FGM||B. Caboclo (1.00)/J. Harden (12.0)|
|M. Muscala (1.00)/T-Paul, Bazely (3.0)||3P%/3PM||B. McLemore (.571)/J. Harden (6.0)|
OKC’s Young Guards Must Show Up
The Oklahoma City Thunder could not keep up with the Rockets’ torrid scoring pace in Game 1 of their first-round series. Despite having the advantage on the glass, the Thunder could not match the Rockets’ onslaught from three.
A big reason why their scoring wasn’t up to standard was the poor showings by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder. The two combined to shoot five of 20 from the floor and one of eight from three.
While Steven Adams is the best player in the paint in this series, he’s not a go-to option. For the Thunder to bring this game closer, they will need their star backcourt members to support the scoring while they’re on the floor.
Houston’s Scorers Must Keep the Pace
The Houston Rockets were missing former NBA League MVP Russell Westbrook during Game 1 of this series, however, Mike D’Antoni didn’t seem to have much trouble with his plethora of scoring options on his roster.
While the natural criticism of the Rockets is that they are too small, they counter that opinion by proving that their ball movement is top tier. With a talented scorer like James Harden attracting the defense, Houston has shown a willingness to pass and move the ball for the best available shot.
Houston assisted on 25 of their 43 field-goals in Game 1, a number they could easily improve on if the likes of Austin Rivers or Robert Covington could find their range.
Thunder Key Player: (F) Danilo Gallinari
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) August 18, 2020
Gallinari is an interesting piece for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he put up one of the team’s best performances in Game 1. Gallinari scored a team-high 29 points on nine of 17 shooting from the field, to go along with a nine-of-nine shooting night from the free-throw line.
Gallinari is one player on the Thunder that the Rockets struggle to guard. He’s got the excellent size for his position and he’s as threatening as a scorer as he is a playmaker. Switch happy defenses rarely faze Gallinari, as he’s dangerous anywhere on the court.
Should Gilgeous-Alexander or Schroder continue to struggle, look to Gallinari to be the second option after Chris Paul. Drawing out the Rockets’ best defenders to him, Gallinari showed how he could create more opportunities for his teammates.
Rockets Key Player: (G) Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon always been a bucket. There was a moment where he looked like the go to guy in New Orleans for a bit years ago. Those instincts never go away. pic.twitter.com/3lsDKVjFah
— Ball Don’t Stop (@balldontstop) August 18, 2020
A bit of an enigma at times, Eric Gordon on a good day is one of the leagues most explosive scorers. While he was just seven of 17 from the field in Game 1, his timeliness scoring the ball aided Houston when James Harden wasn’t on the court.
With a lead in the first quarter, Eric Gordon relieved James Harden as a substitute. While most expected the Rockets’ quality to drop, Gordon was the catalyst for an impressive 18 to seven run in to close the first.
Without Russell Westbrook available, the Rockets need one more go-to option. Eric Gordon has the scoring ability and creativity, but it’ll be up to his teammates to support him when Harden takes a rest.
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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]