Game 8 Preview: Houston Rockets at Indiana Pacers

Well, this is getting depressing. 1-6. Yao hurt. Aaron Brooks hurt. Jordan Hill getting no playing time.

As bad as all those are, remember that it could be worse. Kyle Lowry could be taking 10 jump shots per game. Oh crap...

The Indiana Pacers are 3-3 and they have some hope in Indy for a team other than the Colts. They're young, they have good players at each starting position, and if they could just play defense they could be a real contender.

So by now you've heard that the Pacers scored 54 points in a game half quarter. Wait, quarter? As in 12 minutes??? That's 4.5 points per minute! Holy crap! Well, the Rockets are losing tonight.

Psych! Classic letdown game coming from the Pacers. You know it, I know it, but do the Rockets know it?

Keys to the Game:

Defensive Stops, which ends on a rebound

Limit turnovers

Get up on shooters (as Tom stated yesterday)

On to the matchups...

Matchups:

PG: Ish Smith vs. Darren Collison:

At least I hope Ish Smith is the one starting. Look, you guys know how much I like Kyle Lowry, but I the dude is hurting. I appreciate him playing through it, but that doesn't give him license to jack up three pointers. Ever.

Ish actually played well against the Wizards when he wasn't handing the ball to John Wall.

Darren Collison was part of the big 4-team swap that the Rockets were a part of this summer. He hasn't had a great start to the season, but 17/5/3/2 is nothing to sneeze at. He's quick and plays smart basketball. Plus, he learned from Chris Paul for a year. Scary.

Advantage: Pacers

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Danny Granger:

Yes, Granger is really a small forward, but the Pacers start both him and Mike Dunleavy. So I had to pick one so I picked Granger. He's averaging 21/5, which isn't that great for how much Clutchfans loves him. Seriously, half of the potential trades over there result in us getting Granger. Is there something I don't know about? I like him, and I know he's good, but he's getting hyped more than Inception, which had me thinking it was going to shoot solid gold at me. It didn't. Also, Granger isn't the second coming.

Cue the comments section blowing up with "AK, you're an idiot" posts.

Advantage: Even

SF: Shane Battier vs. Mike Dunleavy:

Shane will guard Granger, so that will leave Dunleavy to wreak havok on our defense. He scored 24 of their 54 points in that big third quarter. He's a good shooter and always lights up the Rockets.

I usually don't have much to say in the small forward section, mainly because Shane doesn't do much other than play defense. Well, he's picked up his offense of late. Think he realizes it's a contract year for him?

Advantage: Pacers

PF: Luis Scola vs. Josh McRoberts/Tyler Hansbrough:

Both the Tar Heel and the Dukie average about the same amount of time on the court at the four.

Neither of them is better than Scola, Together they average 17/11, which isn't too bad. White guys usually kill the Rockets. This is why Utah and Indiana have our number. It's a race thing. I'm telling you.

Also, one of their PF backups is named Magnum Rolle. Is there a better name in the NBA? Because that one is awesome.

Advantage: Rockets

C: Who knows? vs. Roy Hibbert:

Roy is really playing better this season. I never would have thought Roy Hibbert would be way better than Greg Oden, but that's the reality of the situation.

I'm not going to try with the center position with the Rockets. I'm just going to give it to Hibbert.

Advantage: Pacers

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Bench:

Pacers: T.J. Ford, Brandon Rush, James Posey, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough, Solomon Jones

Rockets: Lowry, Lee, Chase, Chuck, Brad Miller, Jordan Hill (one of the last two will start for Yao)

Advantage: I want to give this to the Rockets, but I have to at least call it even. I should give it to the Pacers, but I still have faith in our guys

Injuries:

Pacers: Jeff Foster out (ankle)

Rockets: Brooks out, Yao out, Lowry day-to-day

Prediction: Rockets lose again, Armin takes to the drink.

Rockets vs Pacers coverage

Indy Cornrows

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