14 games left. 4.5 games back, and Portland keeps winning. Doesn't look good, but this team isn't throwing in the towel. That's why we love them. That, and Morey.
The Bulls are also fighting for a playoff seed. They're currently 9th in the East (32-37 is good enough for 9th over there? Crazy.). So, they'll be as desperate as the Rockets tonight. They've gone 1-9 in their last 10 games, but they usually make late-season runs to get into the playoffs.
This will be a crazy game. It should be very physical and very fun to watch. Both teams need it, and from desperation springs some fantastic basketball. Here we go.
PG: Aaron Brooks vs. :
AB is playing better than ever. He's hitting clutch shots and three pointers like they're lay-ups.
Pooh Bear is still better than AB, and he will abuse Aaron when he's driving to the lane. Much like Rondo, the key is to keep him away from the basket and force him to take jumpers.
He's still going to drive at will, though, and he's been solid all year.
SG: Kevin Martin vs. :
SF: Trevor Ariza vs. :
PF: Luis Scola vs. :
Gibson is a rookie out of USC. He's averaging 9/7, but he had 16/14 in the previous meeting this season.
What's happened to Luis? He wasn't a beast against the Knicks. Doesn't matter. He's still better than Gibson, but Taj is quicker.
Update: Chronicle says Luis was ill. Maybe they stated it in the broadcast, but I watched most of the game on mute. If he's still sick, here's hoping he gets better. If he is, Jordan Hill seems capable of picking up the slack.
Superstar alert! Or at least he's a superstar when he plays the Rockets. He averages 14/8 against the Rockets during his career on better than 50% shooting. Plus, he killed us last time. I don't think he's going to repeat that performance, but I'm probably jinxing that right now. Therefore, he gets the edge.
Rockets: No Battier or Andersen most likely, coming off a game in New York where they had to work overtime. Hmm, still sounds good to me, but it isn't a big advantage by any means.
Rockets: Battier (knee), Andersen?
Prediction: Rockets are too tired, and lose by 10. If they win this one, I'll pick them to win every game left. Or should I pick them to keep losing? I hate jinxes...