NBA Picks: Rockets vs. Thunder Game 2 Picks

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:11 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013 2:11 PM GMT

Game 1 was blowout city and James Harden and the Rockets are going to have to come up with something special if they want a different result in Game 2 tonight.


Odds Overview
 

NBA odds makers have responded after Oklahoma City's convincing 120-91 win on Sunday, with the Thunder now favored in the 11-11.5 range for Game 2.

The total can be locked down anywhere from 211.5 to 212.5. The UNDER (213) just barely hit in Game 1 and only hit because of Houston's struggles to get their shots going.

Share your thoughts on tonight's matchup.

Oklahoma City Thunder 

How good were the Thunder? They hit 44-of-83 shots from the floor for 53.0 percent and were a rock-solid 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from three. 

Oklahoma City went step-for-step with Houston in fast break points and in the paint, helping them to a 12-point lead at halftime and a 22-point cushion after three. The Thunder won every quarter and were dominant in every phase. 

Kevin Durant made quick work of the Rockets, scoring 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. He was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line. 

His buddy Russell Westbrook had an excellent game as well. The point guard ended up with 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds on a night where he tortured opposing guard Jeremy Lin throughout. Meanwhile, Sergie Ibaka had 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 27 minutes and Kevin Martin scored 16 points off the bench. 

Even better, the Thunder were able to rest the likes of Durant and Westbrook, as neither logged more than 34 minutes in the win. They should be nice and fresh for another crack at a rout this evening. 

Houston Rockets 

The Rockets were able to play at a pace they're comfortable with, but unfortunately for them they're matched up with a team that knows that style well and thrives because of their athleticism. 

Houston was able to jack up 91 shots in all, but unlike Oklahoma City connected on just 36.3 percent of their attempts. The Rockets were a terrible 8-of-36 (22.2 percent) from the three-point line as well.

James Harden tried his best to lead by example, but he was 6-of-19 from the field and finished with 20 points and six rebounds, while handing out only two assists. 

The rest of Houston's team was practicaly non-existent. Jeremy Lin had as many turnovers (4) as he did points and couldn't get into any sort of rhythm. Chandler Parsons got into foul trouble early in the first half and contributed a grand total of nine points to the effort, while Omer Asik and Greg Smith totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds between them. Not exactly the level of production you'd want out of your starting frontcourt.

Can the Rockets put on a better display in Game 2 tonight? They're going to have to do a heck of a lot better defensively in order to stay close, but that's much easier said than done when up against the Thunder.

[gameodds]5/226785/43/us[/gameodds]

Game 2 Pick

Dating back to the regular season, the Thunder are a mighty impressive 17-6 ATS over their previous 23 home contests. 

And, while they may get a stiffer challenge from Houston tonight, ultimately we have to side with the far superior overall team in Oklahoma City. You can tell that Durant and company are on a mission and that they're not going to let anything stand in their way from another shot at a championship. 

With Durant and Westbrook leading the way, a far deeper bench, and one of the best home-court advantages around, we believe the Thunder are the ones you should be taking with your NBA picks. Good luck!

NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -11

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