Game 40: Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Hornets

Don't worry Michael. AK can never take your legacy away.

Sorry for being MIA the last couple of days. I woke up Tuesday morning with the flu, which is bad enough. But then I found out that I didn't have Internet access. I know! Way worse than the flu! But in all seriousness, I just got my nets back on Wednesday night, and then I spent most of Thursday explaining to professors and other higher ups why I wasn't in class this week. Yeah, it's been just swell. And the flu isn't gone yet. But I can't stay away from my beloved Rockets any longer. And yes, I realize that by skipping a game preview with the flu that I am anti-clutch and the anti-Jordan. So that makes me perfect for these Rockets.

I just read through the game threads for the last couple of games, and I gotta say, wow guys. What the heck is going on? So weird. There are times when I literally have no idea what anyone is saying.

Anyway, the Rockets head to New Orleans to take on the 23-16 Hornets. I just don't trust this team. I don't. When a team is able to stop Emeka Okafor and contain Chris Paul, they're going to have trouble. Is Trevor Ariza going to save them when the Spurs have them against the ropes? Can Marco Belinelli save their season when Kobe keeps hitting shots that have no business going in? We'll have to wait and see.

Jason Friedman tweeted yesterday that both Kevin Martin and Chuck Hayes expect to play tomorrow. I am going to treat it as if they are starting, so if anything changes I will change it.

Matchups!

Matchups:

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Chris Paul

Two years ago, he was the best point guard in the league. Then he has an injury-riddled season and he's a "top 5" point guard? I call shenanigans. When you compare players to each other, "when healthy" is usually implied. So Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA. Not Rondo, D-Will, or Nash. CP3 is the best.

I'm really starting to wonder when the switch will come between Lowry and Brooks at the starting position. The situation was remedied when K-Mart got hurt and AB was inserted into the starting lineup. But with K-Mart back, a decision will have to come soon.

Advantage: Hornets

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Marcus Thornton

Belinelli is doubtful for tonight, so I am assuming Thornton is getting the start. Both of these guys may not start, so just bear with me.

Thronton led the Hornets with 22 points in their OT win over the Magic. And K-Mart will be guarding him? Uh oh.

Advantage: Rockets

SF: Shane Battier vs. Trevor Ariza

What an interesting matchup. Shane may actually guard Ariza, who will probably be guarding K-Mart (if he plays).

"Handles" is averaging 11/6/2/2 this season. He's shooting 39% from the field and is good for a couple of turnovers. Some things never change.

Advantage: Even, I guess

PF: Luis Scola vs. David West:

West is a perimeter-oriented power forward. Sure, he can beat you inside, but where he really excels is with that 15-20 footer he loves to take. Combine that with a pick and roll with one of the best point guards in the league, and you've got a deadly PF. Luis doesn't like to defend perimeter players, so I expect West to tear him apart, as usual.

Scola went into beast mode against the Thunder in the third quarter, then was gassed (understandably) for the fourth and just laid an egg. Sure, Scola is here to score and keep us in games, but when he expends his energy in a quarter that isn't the fourth, bad things happen. Like turning to Courtney Lee in the fourth quarter. 

Advantage: Even

C: Chuck Hayes vs. Emeka Okafor:

I miss Yao...

Advantage: Hornets

---

Bench:

Hornets: Jarrett Jack, Willie Green, Jason Smith, Aaron Gray, Quincy Pondexter

Rockets: Brooks, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Jared Jeffries, Patrick Patterson, Terrence Williams, Jordan Hill

Advantage: Rockets

Injuries:

Hornets: Marco Belinelli out

Rockets: Brad Miller out, Hayes and Martin questionable

Prognosis: I'll go out on a limb and say curable

Hornets vs Rockets coverage

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