The Houston Rockets will be looking for their second win in a row when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Houston has been the most disappointing team in the NBA so far this season, but they still have hopes of turning their season around. The Lakers have won two straight games, and six of their last seven to continue their terrific start to the season.
Houston was the team in the NBA a season ago, but things have not gone well for them this season. The Rockets are just 12-14 and sit in last place in the Southwest division. The Lakers are having a great bounce-back season with LeBron James leading the way, and bring a 17-10 record into this matchup. Los Angeles trails the Warriors by just 1.5 games in the Pacific Division. Houston is a 4.5 point favorite over the Lakers in this game.
Rockets Struggling To Score
Houston was one of the most efficient offensive teams in the NBA a season ago, but they are struggling to score points. The Rockets are averaging just 108.4 points per game, which is in the bottom third in the NBA. Houston thought that veteran Carmelo Anthony would help them on offense this season, but that experiment didn’t last long. The Rockets are relying too much on isolation basketball this season, averaging just 21.1 assists per game.
MVP James Harden has done his best to lead his Rockets team on offense, but the team lacks depth. Harden is averaging 30 points and 8.1 assists per game this season, but he needs more help. Center Clint Capela is having another solid season, averaging 17.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, but is the Rockets only real inside threat. Look for Houston to make some moves before the trade deadline.
LeBron Still Needs Help
LeBron has turned the Lakers franchise around this season, but he could still use a little help along the way. LeBron is averaging 28.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists this season, and is still playing at an MVP level despite his age. With LeBron in the mix, the Lakers have transformed into a top-10 scoring offense, averaging 113.1 points per game. The Lakers still have work to do on defense, as they are allowing 110.9 points per game.
Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart are the two main players who need to start to step up for the Lakers. Ball has started all but two games for the Lakers this season but is averaging just 8.3 points and 4.7 assists per game. Hart is supposed to be a weapon off the bench for LA, but he is averaging just 9.1 points per game in leading the second unit. LeBron and the Lakers need more from these promising stars.
Houston Gets Home Win
With both LeBron James and James Harden on the floor in this game, the potential for something amazing is always there. This will likely be a high scoring affair, as both teams struggle to defend. The Lakers have been playing great basketball of late, but the Rockets won’t continue this slide for the entire season. Look for Houston to protect home court and pick up a solid victory in this one. Bet the Houston Rockets -4.5 over the Los Angeles Lakers.