By Charles Jay
Well, the Houston Rockets took care of things very early in Game 1 of their series against the San Antonio Spurs, scoring 15 points in the first four minutes of play, and building a 30-point halftime lead. That was way too much for San Antonio to overcome, even if they had the ability to do so. They just look old and out of place, and so they really have to revive themselves to get the series even in Game 2, which will start at 9:35 PM ET at the AT&T Center. BetDNA customers will have the opportunity to place wagers even after the game has started, using the best live betting software on the planet.
The 126-99 final was the worst home playoff loss ever for the Spurs, not to mention the biggest halftime deficit they have ever seen in the post-season. Houston made 22 triples, the most San Antonio has ever allowed in a playoff game. And truth be told, they went three-point crazy, as 50 of their 87 field-goal attempts were from long-range. This was not a game dominated by the offense of James Harden, however, as there were plenty of other Rockets who contributed. Clint Capela, the mobile center, made eight of his 10 field-goal attempts and had 13 rebounds; Trevor Ariza scored 23 points and Ryan Anderson hit four triples, breaking out of a mini-slump. Houston shot 46% from the field, and they really didn't need out-of-this-world contributions from their pair of explosive reserve guards – Eric Gordon and Lou Williams, who had just 24 points between them.
In the NBA playoff odds posted on this game at BetDNA, home of the best live betting software on the planet, the Spurs are 5.5-point favorites, with a total of 213.5 points.
What we are saying is that Houston didn't do anything in Game 1 that they really couldn't approach tonight. But some of the Spurs looked lifeless; LaMarcus Aldridge, who only averaged 14.8 points against Memphis in the previous series, had just two field goals. Danny Green, who hasn't been shooting all that well, contributed just eight points, and Pau Gasol, who was brought aboard as a difference-maker, was 37.5% accurate against the Grizzlies and only had six points in this game. You see where we're going with this? Some of the bland San Antonio efforts simply spilled over from the previous series. So it might be part of a pattern. When you look at Houston, they go at least four-deep in the backcourt, and you have to wonder whether Tony Parker can keep up with any of them.
BetDNA patrons should take notice of the shift that happened this season in terms of the offensive distribution in San Antonio. Whereas you would see a lot of responsibility spread out in the scoring category in the past, now it mostly centers around Kawhi Leonard, as good a two-way player as it gets, but somebody who might stunt the ball movement of this team if he tries to do too much himself. They could have a lot of guys standing around, or getting stale. Don't laugh – that might indeed be the case here. We detected it in the last series, and if you look for it here on this blog, you'll see us mentioning that it could be a problem in the subsequent series. Well THIS is that series. Yes, San Antonio might come out and blow Houston off the court; we grant you that. But rather, let's remember that in the three games Houston lost the San Antonio in the regular season, those defeats came by a total of 10 points, and the Rockets were pretty awful from beyond the three-point line, hitting only 29.2%. So they didn't have to do what they do best very well to stick with this opponent. We're taking the points, and even contemplating the possibility of a straight-up Houston victory, in NBA playoff action for Wednesday night.
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