Last night, April 18, 2018, the Houston Rockets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves by 20 points 102-82 and covered the 10.5 line too. However, James Hardin had a horrid night scoring just 12 points on 2-for-18 shooting. Chris Paul picked up his game scoring 27 points with 8 assists to mask Hardin’s weak performance. Over the past 20 years in the NBA playoffs there have been three other times that a starter made 2 or fewer field goals on 15 or more shot attempts.
As you can see it has been 10 years since this type of under achievement has occurred in the NBA playoffs. Although, a small sample size, no e of these teams covered in their next game and in two of them the team was blown out. Interesting to note too that I expect the public to be all over the Rockets in game 3 despite playing on the road and this triggers a strong look at playing the home dog in Game 3.
Despite the horrid shooting Hardin did record 36.3 fantasy points.
There have been 127 games during the regular seasons dating back to 2002 when a starter made 2 or fewer field goals and attempted at least 15 shots. The spreadsheet above shows all of the games following these situations.
This matchup may be a possible trap for the public by thinking that Harden will rebound from his terrible Game 2 and destroy Minnesota. Currently, the public bets exceed 77% of all bets made and this is certainly a red flag to bet on Houston.