Oklahoma City at Houston
The Thunder are expected to be championship contenders and haven’t done anything to change the mind of the public.
The series and the complexion of the Thunder’s future has changed as All-Star point guard, Russell Westbrook, injured his knee in the 1st half of game 2. He’ll be out indefinitely.
Reports say that he tore 2 percent of his meniscus. What does this mean? Houston gets a 2nd life at home, but point guard Jeremy Lin is listed as day-to-day with a chest injured. We’re unsure of Lin’s status of playing tonight and the Rockets need his presence desperately.
James Harden had a point to prove when he signed with the Rockets from Oklahoma City. He went from a bench player to one of the NBA’s leading scorers at 25.9 points per game.
Harden is coming off of a monster 36 point game in a 105-102 loss to the Thunder in game 2. If Lin is unable to play, look for Harden to go for 40. This is a player that’s somewhat of a Kobe Bryant and looks to shoot at all costs. Harden has delivered as a Rocket and don’t expect anything different here as this is a “must win” at 2-0.
Look for Asik to dominate the boards and for James Harden to go in for the kill as he smells the blood of an injured Russell Westbrook.
Oklahoma City garners major respect. Even without Westbrook, they’re a 1 point betting favorite on the road. This is a gift. Take Houston as the series will go to 2-1 Oklahoma City.
Pick- Houston +1 at 5 Dimes for your NBA picks.
Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
This will be a competitive series as the Grizzlies top-notch defense finally woke up, holding the Clippers to just 82 points in a 12 point victory in game 3 . In essence, this game is the series. If Memphis wins, it’s tied and if they lose, the Clippers are 1 game away from moving on to the 2nd round.
Never Gets the Credit
Although Marc Gasol was named defensive player of the year, Zach Randolph is the leader of this team and is capable of going 20-10 on any team. Throughout his career, Randolph has been moved from team to team, always putting up huge numbers. He’s found a home in Memphis.
Randolph is coming off of a 27 point, 11 rebound performance against the Clippers in game 3 and in order for the Grizzlies to know this series up at 2 games apiece ; he’ll have to have another big game.
Chris Paul is coming off of a disastrous game 3. I’ve always thought that the Clippers and Paul were overrated. CP3 is always compared to the likes of Tony Parker, but let’s see him win a championship first.
Blake Griffin has the tools, but lacks the basketball I.Q. to be an elite player in this league. This is a great basketball team, but when they face a team with a defense like Memphis’, they’re in for a long night.
Memphis is a 3.5 point betting odds favorite. There should be no problem in the Griz covering in this game as they look to even up the series at 2-2. Look for Randolph and Conley Jr. to play well on Saturday.