Wow. Did you ever think we would be talking about sweeping a road trip when the season began so disastrously?
Guess who's also on a three game winning streak? The Los Angeles Clippers. Luckily Chris Kaman is out for the game. He normally kills us.
If the Rockets are serious about this comeback into relevancy, they have to win this game. They have to run the table on short road trips against teams lower than them in the standings. Now if only the damn Spurs and Mavs would just lose. God, I hate those guys. WE GET IT! YOU'RE REALLY GOOD! JUST LOSE ALREADY!
Ugh, and if you hate watching west coast games that start at 9:30pm, just come over here to the east coast and try that extra hour out. I literally fell asleep before the tip. I had to wait until the morning to get all the tweets about the game.
On to the matchups:
PG: Aaron Brooks/Kyle Lowry vs. Baron Davis:
Baron Davis is a feast or famine kind of player. He's either going to kill the Rockets, or he's going to be a serious weak link. I'm going to hope for the latter. We all should. On a side note, I really like Eric Bledsoe, the backup out of Kentucky.
I'm with Xiane: Kyle Lowry is the best point guard for the Rockets right now. It's important to wait for ABZ to become fully healthy before inserting him into the starting lineup. And be ready for tons of Lowry and Brooks on the court at the same time when that happens. Lowry needs his minutes to remain constant. It will keep him effective.
SG: Kevin Martin vs. Eric Gordon:
I think I've mentioned my first experience with Eric Gordon before. Well, I'm gonna do it again.
My first memory of Eric Gordon was this high school game against Michael Jordan's sons on ESPN. The game was close throughout the first half, and Gordon's team was the second-ranked team in the country. I was mainly watching the games for MJ's sons, but the sideplot for me became how their opponents were so highly ranked. Enter Eric Gordon.
He scored 43 points on 17-25 shooting and went on a ridiculous personal 10-0 run to finish the first half. Dude was sick. He also played well at Indiana, but the whole Kevin Sampson illegal recruiting thing tarnished his time there.
Gordon played with Team USA this summer and it seems to have helped. He's averaging 24/5 on a whopping 46% shooting. On the other hand, he's shooting a paltry 30% from the three point line, which is supposed to be his strong suit.
I'd rather have K-Mart, but Gordon is playing so well right now that I'm going to call it even. Cue the haters.
SF: Shane Battier vs. Ryan Gomes:
Gomes is the defensive guy for the Clippers I guess. He doesn't average much but he does do a lot of little stuff for the team.
Battier, I like it. I love it. I want some more of it. And "it" are those clutch three pointers.
PF: Luis Scola vs. Blake Griffin:
Griffin is going to jump over every Rockets player. Exhibit A:
Dunkfest: Blake Griffin vs Knicks (via NBA)
Exhibit B not needed.Put this man in the dunk contest right now.
But even though I'm sure he'll go off, Luis is too good to give away the advantage.
C: Chuck Hayes vs. DeAndre Jordan:
It's 6/6 for Tom's old Episcopal buddy. I've met this guy several times. He was in the grade below me, but he usually got invited to the cotillions that St. John's, Kinkaid, and Episcopal were a part of. Something I noticed was how quiet and reserved he was. He may have changed since then, but at the time you had to pull really hard to get anything out of the guy. Unlike most people there, I actually knew who he was and that he tearing it apart in AAU.
Anyway, he's playing much better this season. He's on pace for career highs in every stat, including field goal percentage, where he's currently at 66%. No wonder Tom is thinking about bringing him back to Houston.
Rockets: Courtney Lee, Chase Buddinger,, Ish Smith, Kyle Lowry/Aaron Brooks, Brad Miller
Clippers: Craig Smith out, Chris Kaman out
Rockets: Yao out indefinitely
Prediction: Rockets run the road trip table.