MLK Day features OKC Thunder vs reeling Rockets: preview

JANUARY 9: Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder plays defense against the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
JANUARY 9: Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder plays defense against the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder hit Houston to take on the reeling Rockets. Gameday breaks down the Martin Luther King Jr. Day match.

The OKC Thunder finished their 3-game homestand with a win against the extremely short handed Portland Trail Blazers. On top of the injuries they’ve suffered all season, there was also the trade that depleted their resources further.

You can only beat who they put on the floor, and the Thunder smartly took the opportunity to rest Danilo Gallinari. It also allowed Terrance Ferguson a chance to recover from illness and get extra rest in order to take on James Harden.

The Rockets have lost three of their last four games, including the last two against the Memphis Grizzlies and Trail Blazers. In these two games, Harden has shot the 3-ball poorly. His 6-of-25 from deep is an efficiency level of only 24 percent.

Last game out against the Thunder, Harden went 2-of-9  for 22 percent efficiency. So in the four losses, Harden has gone 10-for-43 or 23.2 percent efficiency. Comparatively, Harden shoots 41.5 percent in wins.

Russell Westbrook has changed the way the Rockets play this season. They are leading the NBA in pace after being at the slow end of the NBA last season.  Westbrook has seven triple-doubles in 34 games as well.

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1215464546820816896

However, something appears to be wrong in the state of Houston. This team should be doing great things with the intensity of Westbrook and the shooting of Harden. They are trying to outshoot everybody and this is not working.

The Rockets fell to sixth with their last loss to the Lakers so this contest has been given a little more spice. The Thunder have the chance to close the gap on the team above them, potentially moving them up the standings.

Steven Adams limped off the court during the Blazers game after a knock on the leg. It looked precautionary as the contest was over but it is never good to see the iron man hurt.