Game 63 Preview: Rockets at Wizards

The Rockets are coming off what was the toughest loss for me as a fan since the Jazz beat us in game 7 in 2007. God, you know how much I hate the Jazz. Thank you for preventing them from winning a championship. Ever. Please?

The Wizards are 21-39. They pretty much traded everyone after the Gilbert Arenas "fiasco." The traded Caron Butler for Josh Howard, then Howard promptly tore his ACL and is out for the rest of the year. They traded Antawn Jamison for Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Al Thornton, and Cleveland's first-round pick this summer. Then they bought out Big Z and he's headed back to Cleveland. Why didn't Morey get in on any of this action?

Even with no superstars, they lost Sunday night in Boston by only 3 points. Sound familiar?

Point Guard

Aaron Brooks vs. Randy Foye

Aaron needs to attack the basket more. I don't want to hear about refs. Just attack, attack, attack. That's it. If he has time to think, that's time should he should have spent attacking.

Following their loss to the Celtics, Foye said, "We just had trouble executing down the stretch. It seems like things just came grinding to a halt." Sound familiar again?

Edge: Rockets, but only because Foye isn't very good

Shooting Guard

Kevin Martin vs. Mike Miller

The people over at Clutch Fans love this guy, but I'm not high on him. Dude can shoot, but can't do much else. He's averaging 10/6/4, which isn't too bad, but on the defensive side of the ball he is a liability. Yes, he's been on three different teams for the last three years and was injured this season, but just watch him play. As long as you don't rotate off him he can't do much harm to you.

Martin has got to be more aggressive. Period. Take fewer jump shots and force the issue more often.

Edge: Rockets

Small Forward

Shane Battier vs. Al Thornton

I remember two years ago when everyone in LA was talking about how Al Thornton was going to be an all-star in this league. He improved upon an impressive rookie season last year, then slumped early this year. Once traded, he's picked his game back up, mainly because he's kind of their best scorer.

Shane is in my doghouse for holding up on that 3-on-1 fast break towards the end of the fourth quarter against the Pistons. He could have put it away. Even Jeff van Gundy takes that to the cup, and he went to NAZARETH!!! You went to DUKE! Be smarter, Shane. I expect better. Way better.

Edge: Wizards

Power Forward

Luis Scola vs. Andray Blatche

When I was applying to college, admissions officers would tell me that they wanted to see students who had good freshmen years, who then took more chances with AP classes and whatnot and still increased their grades over the next three years. Andray Blatche is the perfect college candidate. He's averaging 11/6/2/1/1, which looks all right. But look at his career. He's increased steadily in almost every category every year since his rookie season. I really like this guy and think he'll be a second tier center in the NBA, which means he could be making all-star games since the center position is so weak right now. Oh yeah, and he's averaging 26.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game since Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood were traded. Here's a great piece by Michael Wilbon about Blatche's change of image. Finally, Blatche=Beast.

Ironically enough, Andray Blatche did not attend college.

Scola was really exposed on defense against the Pistons, and I expect Blatche to attack him constantly. So much so that Chuck may guard him. On offense, he came back down to Earth in Detroit, with only 20 points and 15 rebounds.

This is the matchup of the game in my opinion. Winner of this probably wins the game.

Edge: Even

Center

Chuck Hayes vs. JaVale McGee

He's averaging 11/5 since the trade deadline, and he's blocking almost four shots a game in that same timeframe. The Rockets are the most rejected team in the NBA, and I'm not just talking about Saturday nights at the club. He's young, talented, and has potential. He's going to have a field day. Six blocks. I'm calling it.

Edge: Wizards

Bench

Wizards: They've got Fabricio Oberto, Earl Boykins, James Singleton, Quinton Ross.

Rockets: What they have is better than what we have right now, though I like that Jordan Hill fellow. He was involved in that trade where the Knicks stole T-Mac from us for nothing, right?

Edge: Wizards

Out Wizards: Howard (ACL)

Rockets: Lowry, Ariza, Andersen. All three are officially "day-to-day." All need to be "ready to play." Haha get it? 'Cause it rhymes?

Prediction: Rockets win a close one. Yes, a close one. Because if they don't, I might pick up my television and through it through my window into our swimming pool. Oh, and the tv is old school and weighs approximately 9 gajillion tons.

Also, if anyone is going to be at the game, say hi to my boy Noel. He'll be there, probably in his alternate Rockets jersey, yelling at the refs.

Rockets vs Wizards coverage

Bullets Forever

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