Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards game preview

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Rockets look to snap a three-game skid with the Washington Wizards in town.

When the Wizards started out the year, I looked at the schedule to see when we played them. Truth is, no one wanted to be the team that the Wizards beat first. Just like last year, when no one wanted to be the team that lost to the Bobcats.

When you're a young team that's dealing with losses and injuries, your lineup has a fluidity that most teams don't possess. For that reason, take the matchups with a grain of salt. Many of these guys might start, but know that 11 different players have started for the Wizards so far this year. And that number is sure to go up as Nene recuperates and John Wall returns.

On the other hand, 8 different players have started for the Rockets, but Delfino, Cook, and Morris have only started one game apiece due to injuries, so that doesn't even really count.

Tip off is at 7pm CST.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Bradley Beal

If you watched Beal at Florida like I did, then you know he's going to be lighting it up in the NBA. I remember he was a lights out shooter who could win games on his own. He's been a disappointment so far though.

He's shooting 35% this season, but it's up to 40% in December. Still not great, but he's a rookie on a team without a point guard or much defense.

No idea if Lin is going to play. I hope the ankle heals well. We saw against the Spurs that there's a little bit of spark left lin the tank. His linside game is back, and you linstantly knew that some of those threes were going in.

Sorry, couldn't help myself. It was just so lincredible.

Advantage: Rockets

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Jordan Crawford

I love Jordan Crawford. Our love is pure and you don't understand it.

I remember watching him at Xavier and thinking, "That kid with the high socks is unguardable." He had so much confidence in his shot and didn't mind chucking it up from anywhere. He made a ton of them too. He almost single-handedly beat Butler in a Sweet 16 game that went to double overtime.

He's struggling here, but he'll be helped on with a decent point guard. Wall isn't going to cure cancer or even give the Wiz a winning record, but he's incredibly vital to this team.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Martell Webster

Webster is shooting almost as well from three (40%) as he is from the field in general (43%). He's also one of those weird players who shoots better when his team loses.

Here's hoping he shoots well, but doesn't shoot much.

Advantage: Rockets

Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. Kevin Seraphin

Seraphin has been kind of a bright spot for the Wizards. Entering last night's game with the Hornets, he had scored double digits in his last six games. He's shooting 60% from the field in December, too.

Advantage: Rockets

Center: Omer Asik vs. Emeka Okafor

Okafor wasn't who we thought he was when he was drafted. Still, he's had some good games against the Rockets and could fight Asik for several rebounds tonight. It's an interesting matchup for sure.

Advantage: Rockets

Bench

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

Wizards: Chris Singleton, Nene, A.J. Price, Trevor Ariza, Shaun Livingston, Cartier Martin (one of the best names in the league still), and Jan Vesely

Advantage: Even?

Prediction: Rockets bounce back, win 108-91

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