Blake Griffin and the LA Clippers look to dominate tonight against a Houston Rocket team that appears to have already started looking at lext season.
Rockets watched their 2011 NBA campaign come to a de facto close on
Friday night, as the Memphis Grizzlies won to officially knock them out of the
playoffs. It's anyone's guess how motivated the team is going to be in Saturday
night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Toyota Center, and we tend
to believe that Head Coach Rick Adelman are going to drop a total dud.
Strong Road Trip for Clip Joint
It's not all that
often that you see the Los Angeles Clippers come up just a few points shy of a 4-0 ATS road
trip, but that's where they're at right now on this last swing of the season.
Los Angeles probably deserved better in a 107-96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks
on Friday night, but it also has a solid 112-108 loss to the Oklahoma City
Thunder and a surprising upset of the aforementioned Grizz in this streak as
Mo Williams has
really started to make a name for himself here with the Clip Joint, including
when he scored 29 points against the Mavs on Friday. Believe it or not, the
former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard may have found himself a niche. He is
averaging 20.3 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 3.0 RPG over the course of his last three
games, one of his best stretches of the entire season.
Houston, We Have a Problem
One could really
tell that the Rockets packed it in for the season earlier this week. It was
such a climb to get back into playoff contention after a shady first half of
the season, and when the team really didn't make any eye-popping moves at the
trade deadline, we all knew that it was in trouble. Houston looks like it is
just ready for this season to end after losing to the lowly Sacramento Kings
and the undermanned New Orleans Hornets on back to back nights earlier this
Scoring isn't the
issue for Houston, as this is a club that has men like Kevin Martin, Luis
Scola, and Kyle Lowry, which can all go off for 30+ point games at a moment's
notice. However, these guys just do not play defense, and the big man in the
middle to clog up the paint is noticeably missing.
As a result, teams are
scoring 104.2 PPG and are shooting 47.0 percent from the field against the
Rockets this year, numbers which really just aren't good enough at this level
to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Competitive Clippers To Shine Again
The Clippers already
know what it is like to win a game in this series, having done so at Staples
Center back in March (106-103). On that day, Williams went off for 17 points
and 11 assists in his best game to that point since the trade, while Eric
Gordon, Blake Griffin, and Chris Kaman all scored 20+. Griffin and DeAndre
Jordan combined for 30 boards.
If LA is going to
dominate the paint like this against a team that really could just care less at
this point, we like the chances for an upset on the NBA odds. Go with the Clippers
on Saturday night.
My Pick: Take the Clippers