Rockets vs. Warriors NBA Pick
The Houston Rockets can have reinforcements to continue their small-ball strategy when they visit the reeling Golden State Warriors, who have lost four straight games.
Houston Rockets (34-20) vs. Golden State Warriors (12-43)
Thursday, February 20 at 10:30 PM ET (TNT), Chase Center
Rockets Sign Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll
The Rockets added meaningful wing depth with Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll. Green averaged 7.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 18.4 minutes over 30 games for the Jazz this season before getting cut before they traded for Jordan Clarkson. The 33-year-old shot 38.5 percent from the floor, 32.7 percent from beyond the arc and 77.8 percent from the free-throw line. He has career averages of 13.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 29.6 minutes over 890 games with the Thunder, Celtics, Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic, Cavaliers, Wizards and Jazz.
The veteran played with Harden and Westbrook in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. This is what he had to say about reuniting with them in Houston: “Playing for something special, that’s what it’s all about. To do it with guys, we basically came in together, is going to be special.”
Green improves the Houston bench and he has valuable playoff experience. He played in the 2018 Finals with the Cavaliers and is averaging 9.8 points in 27.3 minutes over 60 playoff games.
NBA legend Dwyane Wade praised Jeff Green when the Jazz signed him in the offseason:
“I do NOT understand how and why Jeff Green keeps signing these 1-year deals for the minimum. This is now 3 years in a row. He’s never injured, He’s never been a problem in the locker room, He’s athletic, he can shoot the 3, he can guard multiple positions and he’s not old.”
DeMarre Carroll recently agreed to a buyout with the Spurs. He signed with them as a free agent in the offseason but he didn’t fit with them. Carroll (minus-5.1 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) averaged just 2.2 points in 9.0 minutes over 15 games and he played more than 10 minutes just seven times.
Before joining the Spurs, Carroll was a solid role player with the Nets for two years. The 33-year old averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 25.4 minutes over 67 games last season (eight starts).
“[Gregg Popovich] is a great individual to me,” Carroll told Tom Orsborn of San Antonio Express-News about his time with the Spurs. “Outside of basketball, we talk about family, all kinds of stuff. But with the basketball thing, we just didn’t jell.”
The Rockets are signing Carroll when he clears waivers. The team has room to add Carroll without making a subsequent move and he can help them become a better defensive team.
Wiggins Get Fresh Start With Warriors
Andrew Wiggins joins a Warriors team that will be ultra-talented next year. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are currently out with injuries and the Warriors will have two months to evaluate Wiggins and how he fits with Draymond Green, Eric Paschall and the rest of his new teammates.
The 24-year-old improved his shot selection this season but as a former No. 1 overall pick, the expectations everyone had for him were very high. He has the talent, the change of scenery might help him.
Wiggins averaged 22.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 34.6 minutes over 42 games with the Timberwolves this season. He shot 44.4 percent from the field and 33.1 percent on a career-high 6.5 attempts from 3-point range with them.
The Warriors traded D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to the Timberwolves for Wiggins, a 2021 protected first-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick. Andrew Wiggins (plus-3.6 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) has played well with them so far, averaging 23.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks in 33.0 minutes over three games.
Betting Trends and Prediction
The Under is:
4-0 in Houston’s last four games
4-0 in Houston’s last four games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
13-4 in Golden State’s last 17 games following an ATS win
11-5-1 in Golden State’s last 17 games against a team with a winning straight up record
26-12 in Golden State’s last 38 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
11-5-1 in the last 17 meetings
4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Golden State
Green (minus-2.1 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) is very versatile, he can play big, guard on the perimeter and hit 3-point shots. Only time will tell if he can fit right in with what the Rockets are trying to do.
Carroll (plus-0.2 Defensive Box Plus/Minus in his career) is a solid defender, capable of guarding several positions and he can help P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington off the bench and prove to be a quality pickup for the Rockets.
Who will supply the offense for the Warriors other than Wiggins? Golden State averages just 106.3 points per game (26th in the NBA) and they lost D’Angelo Russell (plus-3.7 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Alec Burks (plus-0.4 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), Glenn Robinson III and Willie Cauley-Stein (plus-3.3 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) while adding just Wiggins.
Jeff Green could be making his debut for the Rockets and Andrew Wiggins has been putting up a lot of points for the Warriors but hopefully, Draymond Green (plus-2.0 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) steps up on defense against the Houston frontcourt and helps make this game go Under this high total.