Programming note: Sohum has kindly moved the prediction thread to the fanposts. I will link to it every game as soon as it gets posted. The preview thread should foster discussion. I never have a problem with people making a prediction, but we would like you to discuss the game as well. Leaving a comment of "Rockets X Opponents Y" doesn't further anything in the way of discussion. Much props to Sohum for doing this. It's an incredibly fun game (that I'm participating in, too) and it's awesome that it brings people to the site for every game. I'm trying to think of a prize for the winner and for Sohum's awesomeness.
Now back to your regularly scheduled Sunday preview.
You look at Orlando, and you see a 6-13 team without a star.
James Harden said that the reason the Rockets played so well against the Warriors was desperation. They knew that things were looking bleak and that the Rockets needed a win to right the ship. I hope he thinks of every game as desperate.
The Magic are one of those teams that the Rockets can beat without much trouble. But the Rockets love to cause trouble, and the Magic are certainly a team that can hang around. As we saw with the Jazz and Suns, the longer you let a team stick around, the more they believe they can win.
We talked about belief earlier this season. Great teams take away belief early. Opposing teams hate to play them, and even they do face off they want to get the game over with. The Spurs and Heat win plenty of games before tip-off. One day the Rockets need to be that type of team.
They can start tonight.
Tip-off is at 6pm CST, 7pm EST.