Clippers vs. Rockets NBA Picks: Houston in Must-Win Situation

David Lawrence

Monday, May 11, 2015 11:38 AM GMT

We are confident with our NBA picks that in Game 5, the Los Angeles Clippers will deliver the finishing blow of their Western Conference semifinal series in Houston against the Rockets.

The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
They have absolutely destroyed Houston in each of the last two games with Chris Paul playing moderate minutes. Paul has played a total of four minutes in the fourth quarter in each of the past two games, three on Sunday in Game 4 and one on Friday in Game 3. He is not physically worse at this point compared to last week, when he had to miss each of the first two games of this series. As long as Paul is on the court, Los Angeles has way too much talent for Houston. The Clippers shot over 55 percent in Game 3 on Friday. With under four minutes left in Game 4, they were shooting 50 percent from the field and had made 37 free throws. The Clippers hit 12 of their first 23 three-point shots before adding on a few misses late in the game when leading by nearly 30 points. Houston just has no idea what it is doing on defense in this series. James Harden is getting exposed once again on defense. He is not giving what the Rockets need from him. He made only five field goals in Game 4, and that’s nowhere close to being good enough for his team. In a series in which the Clippers have scored over 120 points in two straight games and have scored over 115 points in three of the first four games, Harden has to be scoring a minimum of 35 points in order to give the Rockets something they can hang their hats on. Nothing about this series suggests that the Rockets will win.

 

The Houston Rockets Can Win Because…
The argument for Houston in this game is a simple one, and it makes sense: The Rockets are playing for their season on Tuesday. They’re facing elimination, and any team which faces elimination generally puts up a good fight. The Rockets did not put up a good fight over the weekend in Los Angeles, but smelling their own blood and the possible end of their season should be just the things to reawaken them and get them to dig in on defense, something they’ve generally failed to do. If you think you know how the Rockets are going to play based on the first four games of the series, and you think nothing’s going to change, you might be in for a surprise. This might be a different Houston team compared to what you’ve seen all series.

 

Outlook
The NBA odds underdog Rockets are demoralized and disorganized. They should come out with some pep in their step as they did in Game 4 but eventually, the Rockets will weather the storm. The Rockets simply have no answers. Whether fouling Jordan or not, they still are getting outcoached and outplayed – especially on the defensive end. They are giving up 114.2 points per game this postseason and their playoff journey should end. Take the Clippers with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Clippers at WagerWeb

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