Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers game preview

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

The Rockets attempt to bounce back tonight in Hollywood against the Lakers in Mike D'Antoni's first game coaching the Lake Show from the sidelines.

I don't actually know if D'Antoni will be coaching from the sidelines tonight, but it sounds cooler that we might be the first game of the D'Antoni era in Lakers history.

And hopefully, that era starts with a loss.

Tip off is at 8:30pm CST.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Darius Morris

Um, yes please.

Advantage: Rockets

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is shooting 53% from the field this year. Yikes.

Kobe Bryant is still Kobe Bryant, so he's going to get all the foul calls when he misses and will still get to the free throw line a ton. Double yikes.

As incredible as it sounds, Kobe has been a real bright spot for the Lakers this season. It only sounds incredible because the expectations around him are usually unnaturally high. He's getting older, yet he's turning in one of his best all-around seasons to date. Yes, it's been nine games. Still, it's impressive.

Advantage: Lakers

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Ron Artest

Newbies, take notice: we don't call him by his other name here. He will always be Ron Artest to me.

Advantage: Rockets

Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. Pau Gasol

Pau's offensive numbers are down across the board, but that's to be expected when playing next to Dwight Howard. With Bynum, the Lakers would toss it down to him occasionally and let him work. With Howard, you have to get him his touches down on the block. This cuts into Pau's effectiveness. However, it's an incredible contingency plan if Howard gets hurt.

Come on Pau, demand a trade already! Pau for Royce White is looking pretty good right now.

Advantage: Lakers

Center: Omer Asik vs. Dwight Howard

THIS is why you sign Omer Asik to 3 years, $25 million.

You also sign him to that much money because he's worth it.

But mostly because of THIS.

Advantage: Lakers

Bench

Rockets: Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Morris, Greg Smith

Lakers: Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill, Chris Duhon, Jodie Meeks

Advantage: Rockets

Prediction: Lakers pull away late, win 110-93

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