Houston is undefeated since making a change in their starting lineup, and they have been playing very well. Eric Gordon playing small forward has somehow transformed the team into being what it was last year. They’re currently trying to maintain their five-game win streak.
Miami has picked up a pair of impressive wins back-to-back against the Grizzlies and the Pelicans. They held them both under .500, and despite the news that Goran Dragic is out two months, it shouldn’t change much.
The Houston Rockets are favored at -3.5 heading into this game.
The recent win streak has them at the #7 spot in the west, very impressive. They have won seven of 10 overall, and look to be one of the hottest teams in the league, as they have quickly climbed up from the #14 spot. They rank as the #20 scoring team in the league but rank just outside of the top 10 in points allowed per game. The defense has been getting it done recently, and Clint Capela has been continuing to protect the rim, with Nene coming in and giving helpful minutes.
They are, as always, taking the most threes in the league, and also making the most. They hit an NBA-record 26 of them against the Wizards last night. But they rank just 20th in percentage. They rank #2 in assists and move the ball well between their guards. The return of Brandon Knight has changed nothing, however, and after we waited two years for him to see the court, he only gets five minutes per game.
This is the #9 scoring defense in the league, and undoubtedly what has driven them on their mini winning streak. They held the high-scoring (banged up) Pelicans to 96 points, after beating Memphis at their own game, in 100-97 fashion. They are going to do all they can in D-Wade’s final season to try and get him one last playoff appearance, and maybe even one last miracle playoff “run”. They will finally get Dion Waiters back in the coming weeks, and his ability to score and create for himself could really benefit the team, and their floor spacing as well.
We are still waiting for consistency from Hassan Whiteside, but it seems that it may never come, as is the case with Justise Winslow. This is a team who plays together and wins the same way. Seven different players are averaging in double-figures, with three more guys averaging at least eight points per game. Josh Richardson shoots the most on the team, but the ball spreads out well. Five players shoot at least ten times per game.
Heat End Houston’s Hot Streak
Finally playing in primetime, Miami will show the world that they are starting to catch on. Their last two wins, coming after being blown out by Utah, have looked impressive, and so will this one. A big night for D-Wade is in store.
Harden and Paul will not be able to carry their team to the victory. Win streak ends at five.
Free Pick: Heat
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