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Game Day #8: Rockets at Thunder

Houston Rockets (2-4, 0-4 Road) at OKC Thunder (5-2, 3-1 home)

 at 

Where: The ‘Peake
When
: 7:00 p.m. CST
TV
: FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Rockets:

The Houston Rockets come to town. This is not your Rockets from a few years ago with Yao Ming. These Rockets are young. Houston’s average age is 24.9. Oklahoma City? 25.9? Doesn’t sound like a lot of difference. Only two or three players have more than four years experience for the Rockets that actually get any burn.

Rockets come into this game on two game losing streak. Rockets are also 0-4 on the road as they head into the ‘Peake. They’re losing by an average of 16 points on the road. Including 117-89 beating by the new look Clippers.

Watch for Kyle Lowry though. he’s a wicked quick point guard. Earlier this season, he tallied 18 assists in a ball game. Lowry has a decent scoring two guard in Kevin Martin. Kevin can really fill it up when given the chance. Harden will be on his toes trying to keep up with Martin on the defensive end.

Oklahoma City as we know, is on a two game losing streak as well. They’re about to head into their only back-to-back-to-back of the season. There is a flu bug going around as well. The Thunder’s James Harden tweeted yesterday that he wasn’t feeling well and took some nyquil so he’ll hopefully start feeling 100%.

Thabo is still questionable for this game. I expect James Harden to get the start in the game. That should be the only real line up change for the Thunder. I think if Harden can have another really impressive game as he did against Portland, I don’t know if he’ll give up that spot to Thabo Sefolosha.

-edit-

Thabo is starting tonight. Looks as if I was wrong.

Keys to the game

Defend the inside
Luis Scola is a beast download. However, Oklahoma city is ranked 27th in allowing offensive rebounds. It’s something that has cost Oklahoma City dearly in the past two ball games. With a young team here, with the exclusion of Scola who has been around for four seasons, Oklahoma City cannot be pushed around by this team if they want to end this two game skid.

Free Throws
Oklahoma City needs to get to the line. Need to penetrate, get to the basket and get fouled. In the two losses OKC is shooting 76.5%. In their five wins, 81.3%. Simple, team will do much better if they can hit their free throws and get to the line more.

Three Point Shooting
Easily, Oklahoma City is shooting poor in their last two games, 25%. In their five wins, 41.6%. It doesn’t help that Daequan Cook has been sick, Sefolosha hasn’t played and Kevin Durant has just been off. Team will need to get back on it from the perimeter if they’re going to put this team away.

Okay, I don’t do this often. However, I don’t think this game should be close. Houston is terrible on the road and we’re rested coming off a two game losing streak. Oklahoma City has some serious questions to answer if we lose this game. Even if this game is close, there might be some questions that need to be answered. Win it, and we’re okay, back on track.

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