NBA Picks: Rockets vs. Nets

Swinging Johnson

Friday, February 22, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

The Rockets travel to Brooklyn tonight as East meets West in our NBA picks for Friday night.

Rockets vs. Nets

Swinging Johnson - NBA Record (2-5, -12.4 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.

Update:

Alright ya’ bastards, I read the comments at the end of my article last night after going  0-2.  Guys like Santana, Tee, Vince, Joe and DJ George all tossing in their two cents.  Hey at least I keep a legitimate record, even when I'm as wrong as a fat guy at a nude beach. 

There were only two games last night and I was on the wrong side of both of them with the Bulls and the Clippers.  Now for all you guys who want to give me grief after the game then try something different; post your own picks before the game. C'mon wise guys, right at the bottom of the article where you take your shots, post your picks just like Joe did. Ha-ruuumph!

Houston Rockets (30-26 SU, 31-24-1 ATS)

If the Rockets recent pattern of alternating wins and losses is any indication then their date with the Nets does not bode well tonight after they defeated Oklahoma City in a 122-119 shootout on Wednesday night in Houston.   

The Rockets are ranked 1st in the league in points scored, averaging over 106 per game but their defense has struggled, to put it mildly.  Houston is allowing 103.6 PPG and is ranked 29th but the team did make several moves before the trade deadline on Wednesday.  They brought in the highly touted rookie Thomas Robinson who was drafted 5th overall by the Sacramento Kings but has underwhelmed in limited playing time. Robinson will be joined by teammates Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt who are being welcomed to Houston while Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas are being shipped to the Kings.  Power forward Marcus Morris was sent packing to Phoenix in exchange for a 2nd round pick.

Despite all the player movement, the Rockets got word of the done deal 20 minutes before facing the Thunder on Wednesday night but got a monster game out James Harden (46 points) who is in the midst of having a monster season.  The shorthanded Rockets came away with a 122-119 victory and may have the services of some or all of their new additions tonight.

Brooklyn Nets (33-22 SU, 25-28-2 ATS)

While the Nets may not have the offensive firepower of the Rockets they are certainly head and shoulders above Houston when it comes to defense.  The Nets are allowing only 94.9 points per game (ranked 4th) and have now won their last four (and covered three of four against the Las Vegas odds) with the latest victim being the Milwaukee Bucks in a 97-94 road victory.  The Nets were 4 ½ point underdogs in NBA odds.

The Nets have been grinding it out lately and it appears when C.J. Watson is on, so are the Nets.  When Watson scores at least 11 points, the Nets are a perfect 8-0.  Although on January 26th, the last time these two teams met, the Nets were bombed 119-106 and C. J. Watson had only eight points in 20 minutes of playing time.  However, over his last three games Watson is averaging almost 18 points per game and not so coincidentally the Nets won all three of those games.

[gameodds]5/219064/43/us[/gameodds]

The Pick:

I'm going to stay away from the side in this one because I'm not sure which Houston team will show up when you factor in all the new personnel.  They pounded the Nets in Houston last month, but then Brooklyn is on a roll so your guess is as good as mine.  However, I do believe it will take the Rockets some time for the newcomers to get acquainted with James Harden et al, so we will look for Brooklyn to put that top notch defense to good use and keep this game low.

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