Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans
When and Where: Saturday March 17 at 7 p.m. ET at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
The Rockets have the best record in basketball. Houston has an opportunity to extend its lead as the Warriors are dealing with injuries to Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. The Pelicans, fresh off a loss to the Spurs, are currently sixth in the Western Conference. New Orleans has played some excellent basketball, even without DeMarcus Cousins.
Houston has won three straight games following a three-point loss to the Raptors. The Rockets have been the best team in basketball for pretty much the entire season. Houston’s James Harden has been the MVP of the year, absolutely torching opponents on a nightly basis. Houston did well last year in the regular season, only to struggle in the second round of the playoffs against the Spurs, so it’ll be interesting to see how Mike D’Antoni handles his star players’ minutes down the stretch.
Ryan Anderson remains sidelined with an injury. The Rockets use plenty of different lineups. Chris Paul has been spectacular all season, averaging 18 points and eight assists per game. Eric Gordon dropped 23 points in the recent win over the Los Angeles Clippers. So many players are capable of going off for the Rockets.
The Pelicans lost a tough one to the Spurs the other night. Since the West is so tight, New Orleans needs every win it can muster. The Pelicans have received tremendous contribution from Jrue Holiday, especially lately. He’s enjoying the best year of his career. New Orleans has played a more fast pace, fun style of basketball without DeMarcus Cousins in the picture, and that’s mainly because of how effective Holiday and MVP candidate Anthony Davis have been.
Holiday has scored at least 23 points in three of the Pelicans previous five games. He’s a different maker at times for the Pelicans. New Orleans ranks fourth in the NBA in points per game. The Pelicans should be able to score on the Rockets, but they will struggle to slow down the offensive attack led by Harden.
- Rockets are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
- Rockets are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Rockets are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Rockets are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. Western Conference.
- Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Pelicans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Pelicans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
The Pelicans need this win, but the Houston Rockets have played tremendous basketball. Houston doesn’t look like it’ll slow down anytime soon, especially with a first place in the West being far from clinched.