Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors (By: Miyagi)
The Rockets have won 5 of their last 10 games yet they have failed to win back to back games during that stretch as it's been hit or miss for them, no matter what the opponent was. They come from a win against the Knicks on the road but that was another game that they lost a double-digit lead in the final minutes. Tucker and Rivers have struggled a lot with their shots recently while Faried has done a good job in his first two games as a Rocket although he is not a natural Center and Gordon's return given an extra help offensively. Still, has to go through Harden and he comes from another game where he scored more points than the rest of his teammates combined! Now, the problem is that his teammates who are in the middle of this 'one-man' show probably don't' enjoy games as they used to since there is too little freedom offensively for them, while they have lost confidence in themselves and that has been more than obvious since the coach (D'Anthony) who introduced fast-paced 7'' offenses now has his team lowering the tempo ridiculously and taking as much time off the clock while their leader is on the bench resting. That's not a picture of a healthy team!
Raptors, on the other side, are in better shape and definitely a much more consistent than the Rockets despite the fact that they missed their best player during the last few games. They come from a loss to Indiana, which was their second consecutive loss on the road, both to Conference rivals (Celtics, Pacers) but they have been great playing on the road against strong Western sides with wins over LAC, LAL, Utah, Warriors (in both games). Ibaka has been on fire recently, Siaka and VanVleet are in great form, Lowry comes from a great game. Powell has been great in his last 5 games coming from the bench as has Milles since his return from injury 4 games ago. With Kahwi (took a rest in the last two games) expected to return to action today, Nick Nurse has to be the happiest coach in the NBA at the moment.
Harden is not good, he is beyond good, he is changing the way the game is played but he can't do it all by himself, definitely not against a much more complete and currently red hot team like the Raptors. A lot of things will have to go right for the Rockets and among them, Gordon, PJ, Green and the Rockets' bench(whatever that kind of joke that is nowadays) will have to sync and produce very good performances for them to avoid a loss today, despite playing at home, and no, personally, i can't see that happening!
Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors predictions
|Raptors ML||Pinnacle||1.66||10||121-119 LOST (-10 units)|
Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors betting preview represents the personal opinion of the author (Miyagi).