Game 68 Preview: Rockets at Knicks

It's the Return of the Mack. T-Mac, that is. This game might be a little similar to the Kings game when Landry was with them. Except it's in New York. And Rockets fans don't really like T-Mac as much as Landry. And the Knicks didn't really like Jordan Hill. Other than that, the exact same situation.

That playoff spot seems to slip further and further away every day. These Rockets have been a surprise, but I don't see a big-time run to close out the season. But, I've been wrong about this team before. You never know.

The Knicks are all about LeBronapalooza. Or, at the very least, the summer of Joe Johnson/Amare. I'm not convinced LeBron will leave Cleveland, but don't tell the New York media. Unfortunately, the team is so focused on superstars they won't be getting their best player, David Lee, back next year. Guy's a stud.

Also, day games suck. Even in the City that Never Sleeps.

Matchups:

PG: Aaron Brooks vs. Toney Douglas:  

Douglas is a rookie out of Florida State. He's only played in 43 games and is averaging 7/2/2. Sounds like a guard who's about to get destroyed by AB to me.


Advantage: Rockets

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Tracy McGrady aka Battle of the Hyphens:

I really don't want to go into T-Mac. He's such a polarizing figure for Rockets fans. I've got friends who hate his guts and I've got friends that wish the Rockets had given him more of a chance. I want the guy to succeed, but it was time for him to move on.

With the Knicks, T-Mac is averaging 11/4/4 on 40% shooting. K-Mart is averaging 23/4/3 on 43% shooting. Seems to me like the Rockets won that position in the deal, though T-Mac is logging about 10 fewer minutes a game. He went scoreless against the 76ers, and I expect him to be fired up anyway. I say he has a good game. Still, with Shane and Trevor guarding him I like our chances.

Advantage: Rockets

SF: Trevor Ariza vs. Danilo Gallinari: 

Dude can shoot, and dude can shoot some more. He's averaging 14/5/1.5, and he'll probably be guarded by Martin rather than Ariza. No clue who the better player is between these two, but Trevor will play enough defense to give him the advantage.

Advantage: Rockets

PF: Luis Scola vs. Al Harrington:

Harrington's been playing well lately. The Mike D'Antoni offense really suits bigs who can shoot, and Harrington can shoot. I don't know how the Rockets will guard him, but Andersen or Hill can probably guard him on the perimeter.

He's putting up 18/6 a game, but he could cause a matchup problem for us. Still, Luis Scola is a beast (still) and will make him look silly on the other end of the court. Remember, D'Antoni doesn't believe in disciplined defense like other coaches. It's not like the Knicks play matador defense, but Luis's shots will come easier than normal.

Advantage: Rockets

C: Chuck Hayes vs. David Lee:

Jonathan Bender was playing center for the Knicks recently, but he broke a finger against the 76ers on Friday. I don't know if he'll play, so I'm putting David Lee here. Lee is also injured (patellar tendinitis) but is supposed to play. Lee played the Rockets well in the last meeting, so I'm giving him the advantage. But, if it's anyone else, like Bender, the advantage goes to Chuck. Okay?

 

Advantage: Knicks, with strings attached

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Bench:

Knicks: Sergio Rodriguez, Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens, Chris Duhon. Doesn't sound very imposing, does it?

Rockets: The usual

Advantage: Rockets, as usual

Injuries:

Knicks: Bender (broken finger), Lee (patellar tendinitis), Wilson Chandler (groin), Eddie House (sore Achilles' tendon), Eddy Curry (obesity)

Rockets: Besides Yao?

Prediction: Rockets win by 10, but it's not that close.

Rockets vs Knicks coverage


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