Houston Rockets vs. Thunder predictions: Space City Scoop staff picks

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Danuel House (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Danuel House (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Contributor picks: Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

ANTHONY RIOS. Rockets in 6. OKC just isn’t as experienced outside of Chris Paul and Steven Adams. At the end of the day, the best player in that series will be wearing a Rockets jersey and should average 35-plus throughout the entire series. Also, Houston will get outrebounded, but they proved that doesn’t mean a thing. I expect the role players to show up when needed, especially P.J Tucker, Ben McLemore, and Robert Covington.. Contributor. Space City Scoop

AMSAL MADHANI. Rockets in 6. I got the Rockets in six — in 5 if Westbrook misses just one game. Even without Westbrook, the Rockets system should allow the offense to be just fine. If the Rockets are able to hit at about 15-20 threes out of 50 each game, they should be fine. Harden would obviously have to increase his level of play, but I also expect Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon to pick up their play. I believe the Thunder will lose only because of the fact that they have players coming back from injuries or are injured and will have to rely on their young players to pick up play. I’m going with experience in this one, which would be Rockets.. Contributor. Space City Scoop

I think Russell Westbrook will miss the entire series, making this hard for the Rockets. Houston still has the best player in the series, their defense has been great in the bubble, and I think they have a number of guys who can step up to at least partially fill Westbrook’s production. Still, if Russ does not play as I believe, OKC could steal this series, and I think fans should be prepared for that potentiality.. Contributor. Space City Scoop. KURT OLSON. Rockets in 7

James Harden is going to ball out. He has a chip on his shoulder after being slighted in the bubble and Russ will most likely be back to close the series out and eliminate OKC.. Contributor. Space City Scoop. MARK CAMARENA. Rockets in 6

LACHARD BINKLEY. Rockets in 6. The Thunder are 27th in 3-point attempts while the Rockets are first. The Thunder are in the middle of the pack in percentage so I believe the Rockets will dominate from deep. The key, with or without Westbrook, is making 36 percent or above from the 3-point range and defending the arc on the other end. The Rockets will probably get destroyed on the boards by a wide margin. But if they’re making 18-20 shots from deep to OKC’s seven or eight, that really makes up for the lack of rebounding. Also, even without Westbrook, the Rockets’ half-court offense does not change much. In fact, there might actually be more room since they’ll now have four shooters surrounding Harden at all times.. Contributor. Space City Scoop

The absence of Westbrook will definitely hurt the Rockets and I feel like that factor alone will give the Thunder some added mojo. However, the Rockets have proven they can play without Westbrook and they’ll win this series regardless because they have James Harden and the Thunder don’t.. Contributor. Space City Scoop. DEVIN BROOKS. Rockets in 6

The Rockets have been the better team all year but OKC has propped up their record by being fantastic in close games. That’s not a skill, as much as Jordan highlights try to pretend it is, and the Rockets superior team should persevere. This series would be over in five or six but the injury to Westbrook should give OKC extra time to hang around. The Rockets micro-ball lineup is also the perfect antidote to OKC’s best lineups that feature Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroder.. Contributor. Space City Scoop. NB LINDBERG. Rockets in 7

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