Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards game preview

Rob Carr

The Rockets look to increase their winning streak to three when they take on the Wizards tonight in Washington D.C.

RSVP to the game, even if you're just watching on TV

The Rockets continued their undermanned streak tonight in the nation's capital. But the Wizards won't be lying down.

Last night, the Wizards never trailed and actually led by as many as 18 points before taking down the Denver Nuggets. The good news is that the Wizards are also on a back-to-back, but the Rockets are still at a disadvantage because they're on the road and down a few players.

The rotations worked last night despite being undersized against the Nets because Count Donuts was great and the bench was fantastic.

Tonight, the Rockets will be able to run up and down with this young Wizards squad. The Rockets are first in points scored, and the Wizards are dead last.

Tip-off at 6:00pm CST.

PG: Jeremy Lin vs. John Wall

Wall is hovering around basketball's version of the Mendoza line (40% shooting from the field), but since he's only played 19 games due to injury it's hard to really fault him. He had 14/10 last night and is improving. Again, coming back from injury does skew how I judge players and makes this difficult.

Is John Wall better than Jeremy Lin overall? Yeah. But Lin is playing well and Wall is still finding his game again.

Also, John Wall looks like Ray J.

Advantage: Even

SG: James Harden vs. Bradley Beal

Welcome to the league, young blood. Tonight's chapter is called, "Trial By Fire."

I really liked Beal coming out of Florida and thought he could be a really good player. He's shooting 37% from three, but only 40% overall. It seems that too many players in Washington are jump shooters who are trying to create for themselves.

However, I think he's going to get better. He grabbed 12 rebounds against the Nuggets, which says quite a bit about his versatility.

Advantage: Houston

SF: Carlos Delfino vs. Martell Webster

Can't bet against Delfino here.

Also, when are the Rockets going to sign Rudy Fernandez to complete the Argentina-Dominican-Spain trio? That would be awesome to watch.

Yes, Delfino is technically the PF, but come on he isn't really.

Advantage: Rockets

PF: Chandler Parsons vs. Nene

Nene and Okafor are both players who can post up and cause the Rockets some problem. As opposed to Reggie Evans and Ibaka, they are power forwards that you have to contain on the block, and Nene could use his strength to overpower Parsons and score points.

On the other hand, when the Rockets go small the Wizards won't be able to match up with them and Parsons will abuse Nene if that matchup plays out.

Advantage: Wizards

C: Omer Asik vs. Emeka Okafor

Big matchup. The Wiz need Okafor to win this to have a real shot.

This is one of those stupid games where someone might get hurt. Please don't let it be Omer. Or anyone else.

*Knocks on wood fervently*

Advantage: Houston

Bench:

The Wizards have Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton, and A.J. Price coming off the bench in the backcourt. Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin are backup bigs. The Wizards have the ability to run with the Rockets, especially with their bench.

Again, I doubt Thomas Robinson or Francisco Garcia get much burn tonight unless it's a blowout. The Rockets don't play again until Wednesday at home against the Bucks, which would give the coaching staff three days off to teach the new guys at least some of the system.

Greg Smith, Donatas Motiejunas, James Anderson, and Patrick Beverley did a great job against the Nets. The Rockets need them to duplicate that success tonight.

Advantage: Even

Prediction:

I think the Rockets sustain an injury but still pull it out 112-98.

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