Rockets at Nets Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 2/22/2013
The Rockets might need to wear name tags for this game. The team played Wednesday night after making some deals that saw a lot of faces change locations, but everyone will be in place this time around. In the long term the moves will give the team more of a fast, run-first look that coach Kevin McHale favors. In the short term, though, the question bettors need to ponder is what impact it will have on the team now.
Houston has alternated wins and losses over their last seven games, but the Nets are playing much better. They have won four straight, including a victory in Indianapolis — a very tough place to win. They clearly have momentum, and they are a solid 20-10 at home, so they are in a good position here.
Rockets at Nets Betting Storylines
To win this one the Nets will have to be much better than they were on Jan. 26 in Houston. The Rockets won that one, 119-106. It was a more dominating performance than even the score suggests, though. Houston out-rebounded Brooklyn 50-31 and shot an impressive 49 percent from the field. Houston completely owned the paint, and that domination allowed James Harden to do pretty much whatever he wanted — he finished with 29 on the night. Houston is not an outstanding rebounding team — they sit just 10th in the league, with Brooklyn not far behind at 15th — so the imbalance last game had far more to do with execution than a lack of capability. It can, and must, be different or this one will end in much the same way.
Thomas Robinson could be a big factor in this one, and he will definitely be a story throughout the season. He was a total beast at Kansas last year and was a consensus all-American. That was good enough to make him the fifth overall pick in the draft. Since then, though, he has been a disaster. With 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game he’s not productive, he is shooting at a low percentage, and he was only playing 16 minutes per game in Sacramento. Now he’ll step right into a starting role, and he should play 25-30 minutes a game. There will be a lot of pressure on him to step up, but the Rockets play at such a high tempo, and are so much better than Sacramento at moving the ball around, that he should take a step forward. In fact, it seems more than just likely that the Kings will one day look back on this deal as a major mistake — not that major mistakes are anything new for the Kings’ franchise.
One thing that we likely won’t see here is a major defensive battle. The Rockets move the ball at a higher tempo than anyone. In the Carlesimo era the Nets do more than their share of running and gunning as well. If you’re watching this game you’ll want to make sure you take a refreshment break at the half or before the game starts, because if you miss even a couple of minutes during the game you could miss a pile of points. The need to be productive in this one could work against Houston because the new faces will have an inevitable effect on their chemistry. Lucky for them, though, the moves didn’t affect the core of their engine — Lin and Harden didn’t go anywhere.
Rockets at Nets NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Rockets are 5-0 ATS in their last five against teams with a winning record. They are 8-1 ATS in their last nine following a game in which they allowed 100 or more points. The Nets are just 1-5 ATS in their last six at home. The Rockets are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against the Nets.
Rockets at Nets Picks and Betting Predictions
The best play here is to take the under. Robinson and the new pieces are likely to be flustered. Jeremy Lin hasn’t taken the moves very well — he seems to be exceptionally surprised by what happened. Deron Williams is nursing a sore ankle so he won’t be at his best. Add it all together and you have a good chance that both teams operate at a shade below their best.
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