|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAWednesday night, the Houston Rockets travel to New Orleans to take on the Hornets in a game that could have important playoff consequences for the Hornets.
If the Hornets come out on top of the Rockets tonight, they will be guaranteed a spot in the postseason this year, after failing to make it last season. New Orleans currently has a 44-33 record, and are 26-12 at home. They are currently seventh in the Western Conference, although the Memphis Grizzlies have a 44-34 record for the eighth spot.
Houston is out of the playoffs this year, as their 41-37 record will make it almost impossible to catch up to either New Orleans or Memphis. The Rockets are also not great on the road, going 17-22 this season away from home. To get to the playoffs if they lose tonight, the Rockets will have to win their final three games, while Memphis would have to lose their remaining four games.
The Rockets have been an improved team since the All-Star Break, going 15-5 until recently. Their 104-101 loss at home to the Sacramento Kings was a step in the wrong direction and may have done irreparable damage to their playoff hopes. That broke a seven game winning streak in Houston, as the Rockets looked lethargic on the court.
On advantage the Hornets will have tonight is the return of Chris Paul to the lineup. In Sunday's 108-96 win against the Indiana Pacers, Paul's knee collided with Jeff Foster and the team was worried he may have a serious injury. However, Paul is expected to return tonight. The Hornets are already playing short-handed after losing forward David West to an ACL tear on March 24 against the Utah Jazz.
The sportsbook lists the Hornets as 3.5 point favorites. The total is set at 200.5.