Pick Wolves +3 As Rockets NBA Playoffs Chase Comes To An End

Charles Stark

Monday, April 11, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 11, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

These last two games are both must wins for the Houston Rockets. Tonight they travel to Minnesota where they take on a hot Timberwolves team. Will Houston be able to make the playoffs?

The NBA Odds have made Houston a -3.5 favorite. For one of my NBA picks I'm going to back the home underdog Minnesota Timberwolves to take this game to the wire or possibly pull off the upset. This is good value on a team that's trying to finish the season on a strong note.


Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota is on a three-game winning streak and shoot 46.2% overall which ranks eighth in the NBA. They had one of the more shocking wins of the season, or possibly the most shocking win, when they beat the Golden State Warriors on the road. They don't look like a team that is going to let up right now and they seem like they want to make their mark in regards to the playoffs.

They started out the year very well on the defensive side but the second half of the season they have not been nearly as good on that side of the ball. However, offensively they have been decent and they rank 11th and 13th in the NBA in shooting efficiency and two point shooting percentage respectively. Not a team to push tempo they only average 81.2 field goal attempts per game which ranks 28th in the league, and on top of that average just 16.2 shots from distance which ranks 29th.

On the defensive side they rank in the bottom part of league in most categories but they have found ways to win going 6-4 in their last 10 games. I like some of the matchups they have tonight going for them against the Houston team that also doesn't play much defense. In their most recent matchup they lost the game just by five points at Houston.


Houston Rockets
Houston averages 105.8 points per game which ranks fifth in the NBA but defensively they rank 23rd in the league in both opponent shooting efficiency and effective field goal percentage. It is really simple for them right now, they must win this game in order to have a shot at making the playoffs. If they don't make the final eight teams they only have themselves to blame with some bad home losses recently by two to the Jazz, three to the Bulls, and then losing to the Suns just the other night by nine.

This will not be an easy game for them as this is a team that just forgets to play defense at times. Where Minnesota is strong Houston is not very good defensively as they allow 50.5% on opponent to point shooting which ranks 25th in the NBA. They will need to push some tempo tonight in order for them to come out with a win but they haven't done that nearly as well as last season averaging just 83.1 field goal attempts per game which ranks 23rd in the league. They do shoot the three a lot but their percentages aren't that great from distance.

If they can knock down some of those shots and if James Harden can have a big night they should win this game, but I think they're going to continue to struggle against what should be a very motivated Minnesota team.

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NBA Pick:  Timberwolves +3 -105
Best Line Offered: at Intertops


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