NBA Playoffs 2013: Schedule and Predictions

6 of 9

Kevin Durant and James Harden

Oklahoma City Thunder (1) vs. Houston Rockets (8). 

Game 1 – Sun April 21, Houston at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 2 – Wed April 24, Houston at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Sat April 27, Oklahoma City at Houston, 9:30 p.m., ESPN/R
Game 4 – Mon April 29, Oklahoma City at Houston, TBD, TBD
Game 5 * Wed May 1, Houston at Oklahoma City, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Fri May 3, Oklahoma City at Houston, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 5, Houston at Oklahoma City, TBD, TBD

The Houston Rockets have to be disappointed with themselves. They had a great chance at getting the 6-seed but after losing to the Lakers on the last night of the season, they find themselves going to Oklahoma City for game 1 of the playoffs. OKC is the clear favorite to come out of the western conference, but in order to get past the first round, they will need to beat their former teammate James Harden and Houston.

Player to watch: James Harden

The only way Houston is competitive in this series is if James Harden goes absolutely nuts and the Rockets can average 110 points per game. Both Harden’s and the rest of the Rockets’ defense is pretty pathetic, so they are going to need to score a ton of points to keep close to OKC. The problem for Houston is that Harden has kind of tailed off at the end of this season and does not have the energy he had at the beginning of the year.

Prediction: Oklahoma City wins 4-1. 

I think Houston will manage to get a game at home, but they are not winning in Oklahoma City. I thought that if Houston had gotten the 7 or 6 seed, they would have had a chance against San Antonio or Denver, but Oklahoma City is way too good to lose in the first round.