Game 69 Preview: Charlotte Bobcats vs. Houston Rockets

The Rockets beat the Suns, and depending on who you ask, this is either great or terrible. Everyone wants the team to win, but there seems to be a movement towards letting the season go and allowing the bench players to get more playing time. With the injury to Terrence Williams I expect some of that talk to die down, but as long as Hasheem "Human Victory Cigar" Thabeet is still around the uprising will continue.

I would like to see the Rockets continue to make a push, but I can understand the other side of the coin. We need to see what we have in Thabeet and Williams, especially with the lockout looming next season. We may not get to see them and they won't be able to play in the D-League (which I believe also will be locked out. So, how do we know how good they are? We don't, and that has people upset.

Anyway, the Bobcats are in town, and beat us 99-89 last time we played them. Trust me, it was worst than the score indicates. The Rockets made the Bobcats look like a All-Defensive team, and shots weren't falling at all. With the loss of Gerald Wallace, the Rockets hope that those issues start to resolve themselves, though Charlotte is still in the top half of the league in points allowed. On the other hand, they are second only to Milwaukee in fewest points scored per game.

The Bobcats are ninth in the East and pushing Indiana for the final spot in the playoffs. They are 28-38 and in ninth place. The Rockets are 34-34 and currently in 11th. The Rockets would also be in the hunt for the sixth spot in the East if they were over there. Excuse me while I go pop open a vein.

Game starts at 7:30 CST.

Other notable games tonight:

Denver at Atlanta, Phoenix at New Orleans (can both teams lose?), Minnesota at Utah

Matchups...

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. D.J. Augustin:

I like D.J. Augustin, and that's coming from a Tech fan who hated when we had to play against him in college. But the hatred was bred from respect, and Augustin is more than capable at the point guard position despite being undersized.

Lowry should try to take advantage, as drives to the hoop should be easier to accomplish tonight.

Advantage: Rockets

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Gerald Henderson: 

Henderson has come into his own since he was inserted into the starting lineup. One Gerald got traded, but another has become the beacon of hope for the franchise. He's showing promise and scoring 14 points per game since the trade deadline, as well as chipping in at other areas of the game.

Please play Courtney Lee Rick! Henderson can kill Martin, and if it gets bad Lee will be able to come in and do damage as well. K-Mart still has the advantage if his game is on, but please don't underestimate Henderson's athletic ability.

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Advantage: Rockets

SF: Chase Budinger vs. Stephen Jackson:

I think "Captain Jack" is the stupidest nickname in all of basketball. However, his actual ability far outstrips that of our small forward.

 

Advantage: Bobcats

PF: Patrick Patterson vs. Boris Diaw:

I'm just going to assume Patterson gets the start. If Scola can play, he'll go. If not, I think the last game proved that Jordan Hill can play with the backups and play well. He's really impressed me recently, at least on offense. And Patterson has been impressive all season.

You know about Diaw: great team player, efficient (mostly), well-rounded, and does a bit of everything to help make his team successful. He's the kind of guy I would expect Morey to chase after if he was a bit younger.

Advantage: Bobcats

C: Chuck Hayes vs. Kwame Brown:

I just love this video:

 

kwame brown lottery (via basketbawful)

I mean, that's hilarious. Crowd reactions are the best.

Advantage: Rockets

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Bench:

Bobcats: Tyrus Thomas, Dante Cunningham, Shaun Livingston, D.J. White, Eduardo Najera

Rockets: Goran Dragic, Courtney LeeBrad MillerPatrick PattersonJordan Hill

Advantage: Rockets

Injuries:

Bobcats: Jackson probable, Joel Przybilla out

Rockets: Yao out, Scola questionable, Terrence Williams out

Prediction: Rockets blow them out, win by 14

Bobcats vs Rockets coverage

Rufus on Fire

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