Game 73 Preview: Wizards at Rockets - Battle of the Losing Streaks

The last time these teams met, the Rockets were struggling to get over .500. They had been winning games only to lose the next one. After defeating the Wizards almost a month ago, they started a four game winning streak. Since then, they've gone 1-5 and are back at .500.

Not much exciting is going on with the Wizards. Unless a 15-game losing streak is exciting. The Rockets are on a 4-game losing streak, so someone gets to win tonight. Whoo! Stoppable force, meet movable object.

Just to get an idea about how these two teams are struggling/getting injured, 5 of the 10 starters from the last game will not start in this game. K-Mart and Shane for the Rockets and Al Thornton and Randy Foye for the Wiz are injured, and JaVale McGee has been benched.

Alonzo Gee was starting for the Wizards, but got signed away by the Spurs. So basically I have no clue who the starters for the Wizards will be tonight, so bear with me as we head to matchups.

Star-divide

Point Guard

Aaron Brooks vs. Shaun Livingston

Foye is out for the season, so Livingston is strarting here. He played well against the Rockets in their last meeting, Actually, he usually plays us well, and if AB has to guard him, that would make for an interesting matchup. Tall and wily vs. short and quick. Still, AB is better.

Edge: Rockets

Shooting Guard

Jermaine Taylor vs. Mike Miller

I still don't like Miller that much. I know he can shoot, but what else can he do well?

On the flip side, we really don't know yet how much Taylor can bring to the table. I'm not sure whether the Rockets plan to keep him this summer or trying to showcase him so we trade him. He's got the upside, but there are also a handful of Jermaine Taylors around the NBA and D-League. Count me in the group who wants him to stick around.

It's very possible that Nick Young starts here and Miller moves down to the three.

Edge: Even

Small Forward

Trevor Ariza vs. Cartier Martin

Thornton missed the Wizards' last game with a strained hip flexor. I don't know if he'll play tonight, but the possibility is there.

The Wizards brought up Cartier Martin from the D-League. Here's Ridiculous Upside's report on him. His name is the same as a famous watch, so he's got that going for him. I really don't know if he'll start, but I put him here because that's my best guess. Yeah...

Edge: Rockets

Power Forward

Luis Scola vs. Andray Blatche

"I don't have no excuse for us."

—F Andray Blatche, on the team's continued losing woes.

And your English isn't getting better neither.

What a difference a few weeks makes. When these teams last met, Blatche was playing out of his mind and looking like a cornerstone for the franchise to build around. His stats looked great and his attitude had changed for the better. Then, the losing streak happened, his shooting percentages dropped, he stopped rebounding.  Then, against the Bobcats he refused to re-enter the game after Flip Saunders pulled him out and yelled at him.

Clearly, Blatche is like school at Christmas: no class.

I'm always astounded by how much athletes make, but in a situation like that, I cannot believe how an immature child like Andray Blatche is given $3 million a year. Scola would never do that. Never.

Edge: Rockets

Center

Chuck Hayes vs. James Singleton

Last Wednesday, Singleton had a ridiculous stat line of 19/21 off the bench. Then he got the starting job and has averaged 7/10 on 21% shooting. So we can rotate off of him like the Mavs did off Ryan Bowen. Keeping him off the boards will be tough, but Chuck, Scola, and Hill will find a way.

Edge: Rockets

Bench

Wizards: Nick Young, Fabricio Oberto, Earl Boykins, JaVale McGee

Rockets: Chase Budinger, Kyle Lowry, Mike Harris (?), Jordan Hill, Hilton Armstrong

Edge: Rockets

Out

Wizards: Howard (ACL), Thornton (possibly), Foye (wrist)

Rockets: Everyone who isn't healthy

Prediction: Rockets have no reason to lose this game, so they go ahead and win it. They have a distinct advantage in 5 of the 6 areas. 

Wizards vs Rockets coverage

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