Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#1565 Charlotte Hornets vs.
#1566 Houston Rockets
Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 9:10pm EST
Toyota Center, Houston
Written by Jordy

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After pulling off a major upset, the Houston Rockets would love to stay on a winning track in Saturday’s meeting with the Charlotte Hornets. Wednesday’s 118-113 win over the Chicago Bulls put an end to a 15-game losing streak for the Rockets. They also covered as 9.5-point dogs on their home floor. Meanwhile, the Hornets handled their business as 1.5-point favorites against the Minnesota Timberwolves with little difficulty on Friday.

Hornets looking to spoil the fun in Houston

If Charlotte took anything away from Houston’s shocking win over the Chicago Bulls, it’s the fact that anyone can be beaten on any given night. The Rockets were on a 15-game losing streak and still somehow managed to topple the No. 2-ranked team in the Eastern Conference.

But make no mistake, this Houston team isn’t very good.

They’re giving up 111.5 points per game and averaging the most turnovers in the league (18.9). Throw in the fact that they’re the fourth-worst scoring offense, and it’s proof that the Rockets are in over their head in this matchup.

Charlotte can score at will with Miles Bridges, LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward leading the offensive efforts. The Hornets have the second-best scoring offense with the ability to bury the opposition from 3-point land. If they pull away early, they can put the Rockets out of their misery quickly. Houston isn’t built to play from behind with such a low-scoring offense.

It’s important to note that Charlotte’s Mason Plumlee popped up on the injury report with a day-to-day designation. I’d say not having their big man would make things dicey, but both Ball and Bridges are snatching away enough rebounds to pick up the slack when needed.

Rockets snap 15-game losing streak

I’m sure the Rockets’ celebration went deep into the night after upsetting the Chicago Bulls in their return to the Toyota Center on Wednesday. Winning cures everything in sports, regardless of the time in between victories.

The biggest question is whether the Rockets can keep winning,

They’ll have their work cut out for them when facing the visiting Hornets on Saturday night. Charlotte has a talented offense full of marksmen. There will be no coming back if the Rockets fall behind early in this game. So they’ll need a stellar defensive effort to bring the Hornets’ offense back down to Earth. Make no mistake, an upset in this case will look extremely ugly.

The Rockets need to force turnovers and make the Hornets consistently take contested shots. That means showcasing the sort of sound defensive effort we haven’t really seen from them that much this season.

The team is expected to be without their second-leading scorer, Jalen Green (hamstring), for this matchup. That’ll heap even more pressure on center Christian Wood to play two-way basketball.

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Here’s to hoping the Rockets got all of the celebrating out of their system because it’s back to reality in Saturday’s meeting with the Hornets. Sure, they managed to knock off one of the top-ranked teams in the Eastern Conference, but they also hit 17 3-pointers for 47.2 percent shooting.

How often is that going to happen for this Rockets team? How often are they going to shoot 50 percent from the floor in general?

Those aren’t trick questions.

It also doesn’t help that Jalen Green is ruled out for this game. It’s a tough loss for a Rockets team that really couldn’t afford to lose another offensive playmaker. Green was just behind scoring leader Christian Wood with an average of 14 points per game.

The Rockets won’t be able to keep pace with the Hornets’ high-powered offense that is sure to feel extra juice when taking advantage of fastbreak situations off turnovers. Those mistakes will come, and it’ll be crippling for the Rockets’ chances. I’m laying the points in this one.

Prediction: Charlotte Hornets (-5.5)

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Don’t get used to seeing the Rockets pile on the scoreboard after the offensive spectacle they had against the Chicago Bulls. The team is coming into this matchup averaging 101.2 points per game this season. That isn’t going to cut it, even against Charlotte’s sluggish defense. But more importantly, the Rockets took a big hit to their lineup with rookie Jalen Green going down with an ankle injury. That’s one less player averaging in double scoring figures for a team that doesn’t have many backups capable of putting up those kinds of numbers. Give me the under on Saturday.

Prediction: Under (221.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.