NBA Odds – Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers
Zack GarrisonNo comments
The late game of the NBA’s opening night will have the Houston Rockets clashing with the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center (10:30 p.m. Eastern).
The teams likely have different goals for the season. The Lakers will be hoping for a playoff berth after a woeful 27-55 season last year. For Houston, the goal is to move past the first round. The Rockets finished fourth in the Western Conference last year, but lost a hard-fought series to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers will have a lot of new blood on the floor tonight, with off-season acquisitions Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer making their Lakers debut. Obviously, the biggest key for the Lakers this season, though, is the health/play of Kobe Bryant. After missing much of last season to a knee injury, Black Mamba is out to prove that he is still one of the game’s elite, something many pundits doubt.
“I love the fact that pretty much everyone has written us off,” Lakers’ coach Byron Scott said. “That’s obviously fuel to the fire. I’m going to use that to talk to our players about how people are viewing us as a basketball team. I love the fact that everybody is doubting us.”
Rockets coach Kevin McHale enters this season on the hot seat; many of the Houston faithful think McHale has underachieved given the talent on the Rockets’ roster. McHale is listed at 7/4 to be the first coach fired.
“I got pretty comfortable with myself a lot of decades ago,” McHale, 56, said. “I haven’t changed much….
“(Being in the last year of my contract) has no bearing on me,” McHale added. “I never believed that. If you’re going to play better in the last year of your contract because it’s the last year of your contract, I question who you are. If you are going to coach better because you’re in the last year of your contract, I question that guy.”
The Rockers are six-point favorites at the moment; Houston is 5-2 SU in their last seven against the Lakers.