NBA tips: Back the Rockets and Pistons in our Wednesday 4-fold
Houston's MVP frontrunner should lead them to victory in Miami, while the Timberwolves are poised to beat the struggling Cavaliers.
Houston Rockets to beat Miami Heat –
No team in the NBA are as hot as the Rockets at the moment.
The Western Conference’s current second seeds have won five games in a row, and have only been beaten twice in their last 14.
With MVP frontunner James Harden and the league’s second-best offense, they shouldn’t have much trouble beating a Heat team that have lost four on the bounce.
Minnesota Timberwolves to beat Cleveland Cavaliers –
The Cavaliers are in crisis, with a run of nine defeats in 13 games putting their title chances – and coach Tyronn Lue’s future – in doubt.
Cleveland surrendered a 21-point lead and were outscored 65-32 in the second half against the Orlando Magic last time out – their sixth consecutive defeat on the road.
The Cavs have been awful defensively this season, ranking 26th in points allowed, and should struggle against a young, athletic Timberwolves team that have scored the fifth-most points per game in the NBA.
Detroit Pistons (-9.5) to beat Brooklyn Nets –
The Pistons have been on fire since trading for Blake Griffin, winning three consecutive games with the former Los Angeles Clippers forward in the line-up.
They’ve now won four home games in a row, boosting their record in Detroit to 17-10.
Expect their run to continue against the Nets, who have lost three successive games and seven of their last eight.
Indiana Pacers to beat New Orleans Pelicans -
The Pelicans have really struggled after losing star centre DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury, losing four of their last five games, the last of which was a 133-109 home thrashing by the Utah Jazz.
It’s hard to see them beating an in-form Pacers team that have won six of their last nine.
Indiana have scored over 100 points in eight successive games, and should cause problems for New Orleans’ 29th-ranked defence.
*Odds subject to change.