NBA Picks Favor Rockets -6.5 vs. Wolves in Mexico City

Megan Rochester

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 10:52 PM GMT

We take our free NBA picks international tonight as our expert NBA handicapper previews the matchup between the Rockets vs. Timberwolves. You won't want to miss out on this article. 

Rockets Take on Wolves without Pack Leader  
Here’s a stats snapshot on player matchup for the game from ESPN.com:

Those are big differences. Well, maybe Ricky Rubio will have some solid offensive work tonight,  you say? Wrong. After a Rubio’s left ankle roll in the Magic game on Friday, Timberwolves fans can say “Adios” to their Spanish-bred guard tonight. A statement on Twitter was released from the Minnesota Timberwolves:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far in the five games Rubio has played this regular season, The Wolves put up an average of 112.8 points per 100 possessions when Rubio is on the court and only 93.2 per 100 possessions in the Miami Heat game he missed last Saturday. On defense, the Wolves allowed 101.7 points per 100 possessions with Rubio in the game and 109.4 with him out.

Based on this small sample, without the skilled Spaniard on the floor, the Wolves will miss out on an average of 19.6 points on offense; give up 7.7 on defense, and 7.1 assists making the 6 and a half point spread tolerable for the Rockets backers to take advantage of tonight.

So who will the Wolves’ second option be? Veteran Mo Williams will likely get the nod. He can shoot with the best of them when he’s on, but it’s not shooting this team is going to need against the Rockets. It’s ball movement and attacking in transition against a solid Rockets’ team defense.

 

Rockets D Will Make for an Under Tonight
ESPN Stats & Info stated on Twitter early this afternoon that the Rockets lead the NBA in 3-point field goals made (13.0 per game). They hold opponents to 5.9 makes per game on 27.2% shooting (lowest in the league).

The Wolves average 99.3 PPG, but with Rubio out, and the Rockets coming into the game second in the league on defense, the Wolves could be stubbed to less than 90 points tonight.

The Rockets have a solid offense averaging 101.9 PPG, but high scoring players like Howard and Harden may sit out a little bit more for rest tonight since the game will be their first easy win since their last three games against top-ranked teams Miami, San Antonio and Golden State. If that happens, I see the Rockets sticking right around there average PPG tonight and going Under the total.

 

James Harden 2.0 Has Been Released
Harden is an all around different player this year. In my opinion, playing with Team USA was the best decision he could have ever made. He is less selfish with the ball. He moves to get open, and he defense has done a complete 180 since last season. I know it’s way too early to call who will be the MVP this year, but I just can’t help myself. It’s one of my favorite parts of the regular season. Right now, James Harden is the man I’m looking at with the most MVP-status this year.

This guy is a beast on the court. Every minute he plays, my eyes are glued to the television. He’s averaging of 25.4 PPG with shooting percentage of .584 and 7.1 assists. There’s only one other player in the league that can say he has matched those numbers (LeBron James). There’s nothing this guy can’t do. Even his beard is bigger and better than anyone’s in the league.

NBA handicapper for Sportsbook Review, Jordan Sharp, stated in his NBA picks earlier this morning, “The Wolves don’t have anyone capable of defending James Harden for the entire game, and even though they have some guys with resumes good enough to try, I doubt anyone will succeed.”

With Dwight Howard back from illness and working in the paint putting up an average of just under 20 PPG, the Wolves won’t be able to stop them.

 

 

Wolves have Home Court Advantage?
No, that question mark is not a typo (my editors are too good to miss something like that). I put it there because I don’t understand how the Timberwolves are hosting the Rockets tonight.

I like the NBA’s decision to reach out to a more international audience and make the greatest game ever invented more global. Too bad Ricky Rubio won’t be playing in this one, he would have been the Mexico City crowd favorite.

But, come on, is home court advantage really home court advantage for the Wolves when it’s in Mexico City? First of all, Houston is closer to Mexico City, and second, there’s a good chance Mexico Citians can’t even find Minneapolis on a map.

This crowd is going to be filled with Rockets fans. That’s the icing on the cake to call for Rockets domination and a cover on the 6 and a half point spread tonight.

Free NBA picks: Bet Rockets -6.5 at 5Dimes.

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