Fri, Dec 15, 11:28am by Staff Writer
Leading into December the 76ers will be hoping to get in the holiday spirit by stealing a win over the Thunder. The Rockets continue to go from strength to strength in the West. They will be looking for a win against the Spurs in the battle for Texas.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers
Saturday, 16 December 2017, 11.00am at Wells Fargo Centre, Philadelphia
The 76ers broke out of their mini slump with a win against the Timberwolves. Joe Embiid did the damage topping the scoring with 28 points on his return to the 76ers line-up.
Coach Brett Brown will be buoyed by the news that forward Robert Covington will be fit to suit up against the Thunder.
The Thunder continue to disappoint this season, despite winning in Indiana (110-95). Expected by many league pundits to challenge the domination of the Warriors in the Western Conference, the Thunder have failed to light up the competition.
The Thunder need to find some consistency to stay in touch with the Warriors and Rockets.
Paul George struggled in the win against the Pacers. George went 3 of 14 from the field, and turned the ball over four times. At the other end of the spectrum Russell Westbrook recorded his ninth triple-double of the season.
The 76ers have been one of the feel-good stories of the league this season. Simmons is operating at level not seen since LeBron’s rookie season.
The Thunder have struggled on the road this season at 4-10. The 76ers will be too strong at home with Embiid, JJ Reddick and Simmons in the line-up.
Expect a close contest with the 76ers to win by 1-10 points.
Best Bet: 76ers to win by 1-10 points at Sportsbet
San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets
Saturday, 16 November 2017, 1.30pm at Toyota Centre, Houston
This could finally be the year that James Harden walks away with the MVP.
The Rockets have emerged as a serious challenger in the Western Conference this season. Their eleven- game winning streak has the Warriors looking over their shoulder.
While the conversation has been around James Harden, it’s important not to overlook the contribution of veteran guard Chris Paul.
CP3 has been a good luck charm for the Rockets of late, winning every game he has played this season. Houston are 12-0 in games that Paul has started this season. This stat puts him in the company of Dennis Rodman who enjoyed a similar start to his career with the Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season.
An off-season trade from the Clippers, Paul starred with 31-points and 11 assists against the Hornets earlier this week.
With Paul averaging 17.2 points over the last four games, the Rockets are beating teams by a double-digit average during this streak.
While OKC have struggled with team chemistry this season, the Rockets simply can’t stop scoring. Paul has made a seamless transition into the Rockets line-up.
The Spurs won’t be phased by the Rockets winning ways.
The Spurs have traditionally had the wood on their little brother in Texas. They will be keen to avoid back-to-back losses after being stunned by the Mavericks (95-89) this week.
After a modest display against the Mavericks, Kawhi Leonard is finding his feet on his return from injury. LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills will need to lift to contain the Rockets backcourt.
The Rockets have taken their scoring to another level this season. With Eric Gordon, Paul and James Harden they have the formula to get past the Spurts.
Expect the Rockets to get away from the Spurs in this clash. James Harden will be looking to prove his MVP credentials against San Antonio. Expect the Rockets to dominate at home for the win.
Best bet: Rockets Big Win Little Win 1-10 points.
*Sportsbet odds will be posted when they become available
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