Game 30 Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets

The only thing I can say about the Wizards is that they're bad. But they beat us, so what can I say?

The Wizards are dead last in the Eastern Conference and have not won a single road game. Compound that with the fact that John Wall (aka Ray J) is hurt and that the team just traded Gilbert Arenas for Rashard Lewis in a move that will take some time to develop, and you're looking at a pretty desperate team.

The last time these teams met, Yao went out with what seemed like a simple bruise. It led to something much worse. It was so bad that I will no longer talk about it.

The Wizards will try to beat the Rockets with size. Size and length, that is. It killed the Rockets the last time out, as the Wiz got way too many easy putbacks and altered a ton of shots. I want to say that Jordan Hill will get a lot of playing time today, but I never know with Adelman. He is the only guy we have who can really match up with Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

To the matchups!

Point Guard

Kyle Lowry/Aaron Brooks vs. Kirk Hinrich/John Wall

Poor Kirk Hinrich. He was one of my favorite players in college at Kansas (sorry Tom), but he isn't the same guy in the NBA. Sure, the Bulls paid him way too much money, but they gave starter's salary to a guy who's too good to be a backup PG and not really good enough to start at PG for a good team. It also doesn't help that John Calipari keeps churning out one-and-dones who will save franchises. 

I don't know if Adelman will use this opportunity to re-insert Brooks back into the starting lineup. After a four day layoff, this might be the right time.

Update: Wall came off the bench against the Spurs the other day, so he may start today. If he plays, call this even, since he got a triple-double against us last time. He doesn't get the advantage because he's still probably a little hurt and not in full playing shape yet.

Edge: Rockets/Even

Shooting Guard

Kevin Martin vs. Nick Young

Nick Young gets to start with Wall out and Hinrich moving to point. And it has helped. Young is killing it at the moment and has taken over with Wall injured and Arenas gone. The addition of Rashard Lewis did nothing to stop him. He's averaging 23.2 points per game over his last five and that comes with two 3-pointers per night.

K-Mart is still better.

Edge: Rockets

Small Forward

Shane Battier vs. Al Thornton

Lewis may start over Thornton, or he may get more minutes, but I'm sticking with Thornton here.

But here's some crazy news from this piece in the Washington Post.

Apparently, Blatche and McGee got into an argument at a club early Friday morning. They started to fight, but Thornton got between them to try to stop the madness, only to be punched by a club bouncer.

Wow. Thornton was doing the right thing, but doesn't this make you glad you are a Rockets fan? I don't know anyone on the team who would act this way. Granted, I don't know any of the players at all. And I'm certainly not trying to make this a race issue, but could you see Chuck Hayes at a club grinding on some chick? Or Brad Miller and Courtney Lee getting into a fist fight?

No, you can't. And if it ever happened, I know the Rockets organization wouldn't stand for it. I hope for the sake of Wizards fans that it's just an isolated incident.

Edge: Even

Power Forward

Luis Scola vs. Andray Blatche

Blatche is averaging 17/8, but shoots 43% from the field. The Rockets will need to keep him off the boards to be successful. Also, he's only averaging half-a-block per game, which is baffling considering his length and height.

Have I mentioned how much I love the pick-and-roll late in games between Lowry and Scola. It worked twice late against the Clippers. It's putting the conversation about closers to rest, which I love.

Edge: Rockets

Center

Chuck Hayes vs. JaVale McGee

I hate not giving Chuck the advantage ever. He's been a serviceable center since Yao went down, so he deserves credit for that.

However, he's just not tall. I'm sorry. I wish he were. But I'm calling this even.

Edge: Even

Bench

Wizards: Wall/Hinrich, Lester Hudson, Josh Howard, Rashard Lewis, and our good friend Hilton Armstrong

Rockets: Lowry/Brooks, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Brad Miller

Edge: Rockets. Pretty talented bench for the Wiz, but teamwork wins out.

Injuries

Wizards: Yi Jianlian out

Rockets: Yao Ming out

Prediction: Rockets complete the climb back to .500. We will welcome back the non-believers on Tuesday.

Wizards vs Rockets coverage

Bullets Forever

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