Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game preview

Get ready for pick-and-rolls. Lots of them. - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets finish a back-to-back right before the All-Star break tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Short preview today because these 9:30pm CST start times suck. I was on the east coast a few years ago when the Rockets went on a 5-game west coast road trip, with every game starting at 10:30 and not ending until at least 1 in the morning (I remember at least one went to overtime). It was miserable, and I usually only watched the first quarter before dragging myself to bed.

I can't imagine what it's like for you overseas people (oversears?). Must be really rough, but we appreciate you here at TDS. You're the real diehards here. Don't worry regular fans, I like you too. Not so much BD though.

So tonight is a tough matchup with James Harden's status in the air. It's even more difficult because the Clippers seem to have the Rockets' number. The Clips swept the good guys last year, with one game going to overtime and another being decided by four points in LA. It's not that the Rockets can't hang with the Clippers, it's that the Clips have that finishing kick or extra drive when the Rockets don't.

Earlier this season the Clippers won in Houston despite the absence of Chris Paul. Tonight the Rockets may be without their star in LA. I think Harden will want to play since he's back home, but I think he also wants to play in the All-Star game since he's the lone player for the Rockets.

I doubt the Rockets can steal this one, but I didn't think they could beat the Warriors in the Bay Area either. Let's just say this would be a HUGE win for the Rockets whether or not Harden plays.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments. And please don't say, "We can't let them dunk 50 times on us." Because I already said it just now.

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