Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks game preview

THE PLAYA FROM JUDEA IS TURNING AMERICA INTO THE HOLY LAND-CONSIDER YOURSELF BAPTIZED, MR. RIM! - Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets will try to extend their winning streak tonight against the Hawks in Houston.

What a fantastic win for the Rockets. It was ugly as heck, but a win is a win is a win.

And sometimes, ugly wins feel better than run-of-the-mill victories. Would my heart like 100-60 blowouts every night? Sure. But sports imitates life in so many ways. Life isn't a straight line, and neither is sports.

I have a motto for Texas Tech, but it applies for any sports team that I root for. It's "We'll Take It!"

Dumb foul bails out the Rockets? We'll take it.

Gave up an open three but they still missed? We'll take it.

Down double digits in the second half, can't hit anything, refs not calling anything your way, and you find a way to win an ugly game? Say it with me: we'll take it.

The Memphis game was a perfect example, and really, I'll take any win no matter what it looks like.

The Rockets played Atlanta last year in their second game of the season after opening with a win in Detroit. The Rockets proceeded to ruin Atlanta's opening night.

Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks, Nov. 2 - Lin-Harden-Rocket Highlights (via Forsythe Drucker)

And for those of you from the states, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. For those from across the pond or the border, I love you too.

Tip off is at 7pm CST

Matchups:

Point Guard: Patrick Beverley vs. Jeff Teague

Remember when Rockets fans wanted to trade Asik for Teague? That was silly.

OR WAS IT?

Teague is averaging 18/9 and totally surprising everyone who had never seen him play or had confused him with Marquis Teague. He's getting to the line 7 times per game. His turnover numbers are up and his shooting percentage is down. Basically, he's playing exactly how a player thrust into more usage always plays: better to the naked eye but with more exposed flaws.

Advantage: Hawks

Shooting Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Kyle Korver

I'm assuming Harden doesn't play tonight. And the Rockets may not need him. The Hawks are coming off a loss at home to the Magic and couldn't keep the Magic out of the paint.

Korver keeps putting it up from 3 and he's shooting 53% from out there. So I'd keep shooting too.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. DeMarre Carroll

Pump-Fake Over/Under is 4.5. Parsons had 3 in the first quarter then only one the rest of the night in Memphis. When he forgoes the pump fake and just drives to the basket, he's much more effective than when he's indecisive about shooting (never a good sign) then tries to body past his defender into a paint that wasn't crowded before but is now teeming with trees.

Carroll is still a junkyard dog player. On Friday Night Lights, an assistant coach names a bunch of players and describes them as junkyard dogs. The issue was that every player he named was black. So in the show calling someone a junkyard dog took on a racist connotation.

Luckily, we live in the real world where white people can be junkyard dogs too and the description isn't racist but rather a compliment for a player who hustles his behind off and does anything to win.

Not sure how that tangent happened. Sorry.

Advantage: Rockets

Power Forward: Terrence Jones vs. Paul Millsap

The former player for the (edited by SB Nation) is averaging 16/7 for the Hawks with a 20.2 PER, if you're into that.

Terrence the Tractor (I'm working on it) finally had the sub-par game that I've been expecting. However, every starter played poorly for the Rockets. Parsons and Beverley played well in the fourth quarter, but had done nothing earlier so they don't get a complete pass.

Advantage: Hawks

Center: Dwight Howard vs. Al Horford

Howard averages 18/14 against his hometown team.

Horford averages 14/8 against the Rockets.

Do either of those stats really matter? Nope.

Advantage: Rockets

Bench

Rockets: Francisco Garcia (he woke up, kinda!), Omri Casspi (THE PLAYA FROM JUDEA!!!), Aaron Brooks (glad his injury wasn't serious), Omer Asik (huge in the 4th against MEM)

Hawks: Gustavo Ayon, Mike Scott, Cartier Martin, Lou Williams

Advantage: Rockets

Prediction: I hate the Rockets, but I think they'll win tonight. 108-92.

Hawks vs Rockets coverage

Peachtree Hoops

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