It is always a fun matchup when the Houston Rockets (4-5) and Oklahoma City Thunder (6-4) get together. Last year’s MVP James Harden leads Houston into OKC to take on the possible Russell Westbrook-less Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday night.
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on TNT. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
TNT is one of 85 channels included in the main Fubo bundle, which is tailored towards sports. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch games up to three days after they air even if you forgot to record them.
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including TNT. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
TNT is included in both the “Sling Orange” and “Sling Blue” channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
In one of the biggest surprises of the season the Rockets have struggled and started 4-5. It’s too early to panic considering only two players have started all nine games for the Rockets so far (Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker).
Injuries to James Harden and a suspension for Chris Paul have made it hard for Houston to get any rhythm offensively. They rank 23rd in offensive rating (106.9) and 21st in defensive rating (111.8). Paul has really struggled, shooting 40% from the field and 30% from three. The Rockets’ “third guard,” Eric Gordon, is only shooting 32% from the field and 24% from three.
The surprising stats continue. The Rockets are 30th in field goal percentage (42%) and 24th in three-point shooting (33%), arguably the team’s biggest strength from last season.
One has to think the Rockets will get better as the season goes on, but if it doesn’t, the whispers of a Jimmy Butler trade will only grow louder. Butler is the type of player who can immediately transform Houston from what it is, back into what it was.
The Rockets desperately need a three-and-D type of player after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Although neither special, they gelled with Harden, Paul and Capela like a glove. Butler would easily make the same impact those two players did combined, while putting less pressure on the aforementioned trio of guards.
After starting the season 0-4, Oklahoma City has won six straight games and is rolling. Though after sitting out Wednesday with an ankle injury, it is possible Westbrook sits out one more game.
As much as the Thunder continues to struggle offensively with a 108.7 offensive rating (18th in the league), they continue to be stingy defensively with a 106.9 defensive rating (eighth in the league) with Paul George, Jerami Grant and Steven Adams leading the way on the defensive end.
They’ve also gotten a solid contribution from Nerlens Noel — an incredibly shrewd signing by Sam Presti — off the bench. Billy Donovan has done an excellent job incorporating Noel and reviving his career.
OKC is really struggling offensively shooting 45% from the field (20th in the league) and 30% from three (last in the league). Despite George’s defensive play, he has really struggled on the offensive end to start the season shooting 39%.