Larry Ness' 10* Situational G.O.M. (15-3 TY): The NBA season didn't start until Xmas but that timing was just right for Larry. He's been handing out presents right from the start & is 37-21-1 or 36-21-2 with all releases Y-T-D, including a SPECTACULAR 15-3 (83%) with 10* G.O.M. plays. His 'ASSAULT' on the NBA pointspread continues with his 10* Situational G.O.M. BE THERE!
Game: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets Feb 19 2012 7:05PM
Prediction: Houston Rockets
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: My 10* Situational Game of the Month is on the Hou Rockets at 7:05 ET.
The Rockets have dropped THREE of their last four and enter this game 17-14 overall. Leading scorer Martin (18.2) has been struggling in the month of February, averaging a modest 12.0 PPG while shooting 38.6 percent the last nine games. Houston had all sorts of trouble vs Minnesota big men Love and Petrovic in Friday’s 111-98 home loss, as both players had double-doubles (combined for 63 points and 29 rebound). so at first blush, Sunday’s game with the Utah Jazz could mean the Rockets will be in for a long night. After all, Utah big men Jefferson (19.0-9.2) and Millsap (15.6-9.4) are having excellent seasons. However, let’s look closer. Ty Corbin has done a nice job with the Jazz, who looked like a mess by the end of last season. The team enters healthy and with its preferred rotation and starting lineup intact. SF Hayward (9.8-2.8-3.2) joins Jefferson and Millsap in the frontcourt while a now-healthy Bell (7.2) teams with Harris (8.8-4.5 APG) in the starting backcourt. The team's depth isn’t bad at all, with swingman Miles (9.3), rookie Burks (6.0) and vet PG Watson (3.6-4.7 APG) in the backcourt plus Favors (8.4-5.2), Howard (7.6-3.1) and rookie Kanter (5.2-5.2 in just 15 MPG) in the frontcourt. However, this is NOT a good spot OR matchup for the Jazz. The team opened with THREE of its first four games on the road but then caught some good scheduling, playing 14 of its next 18 games at home. FIVE of the team's last seven games have been on the road, as the Jazz have gone 1-4 in those away games. After opening 2-3 on the road TY, Utah has lost SIX of seven road games, allowing 105.8 PPG in those losses. The Rockets counter the Jazz with a solid starting lineup plus a bench which I would argue surpasses Utah’s in effectiveness. The Martin and Lowry (14.8-5.3-7.6) guard duo is a very good one and while Martin has struggled lately, he has three 30-point performances in his last six games against the Jazz, averaging 28.2 PPG! Dalembert (7.5-7.8) has settled in as the team’s starting center with Scola (14.8-5.8) and rookie Parsons (7.5-4.8) starting up front. Lee (10.0) and Dragic (7.6-3.6 APG) are top backcourt reserves while Budinger (8.9-3.7) and Patterson (7.1-4.0) come off the bench in the frontcourt. It doesn’t help that backup center Hill (5.0-4.9 on 51.3% shooting) is back on the shelf with a knee injury but Houston was effective without him in the lineup earlier TY. The Rockets are 11-4 SU (10-5 ATS) at home and I’ve documented Utah’s road woes. Utah’s last two road outings, a 26-point blowout loss at Oklahoma City and an 86-80 loss at New Orleans to the sad-sack 7-23 Hornets, are just two recent examples of those struggles. Houston’s 111-98 Friday home loss to Minnesota in its last game plus Utah’s 114-100 home win the same night over the pathetic Wizards (Washington is 7-24), give us a more favorable number than expected in this game. Martin scored 32 against the Thunder in Wednesday’s home win before getting just 16 (on 4-of-11 shooting) in Friday’s loss to the T-wolves but as pointed out already, he’s ‘torched’ the Jazz in recent matchups. Expect the Rockets to roll Sunday night.