Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors game preview

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets take on the upstart Warriors tonight in Houston.

Houston Rockets Tickets

This is a big game. As in, really big.

"But AK, it's just the 50th game of the season, that isn't a big deal," said the reader who didn't understand.

These Warriors are trying to do exactly what the Rockets are. Well, not the running part. Mark Jackson has them playing phenomenal defense.

Rather, they've become a young team defying odds and using pieces from the draft, trades, and free agency to turn themselves into a young contender.

"But isn't that what all teams do? Try to build through the draft, free agency, and trades?"

Yes, Mr. Reader. But most teams fail in at least one area, usually more.

And these Warriors are really good. And fun to watch.

Tip off is at 7pm CST.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Stephen Curry

Steph Curry is having an incredible year. He's an amazing shooter, he's becoming a fantastic distributor, and I'm going to stop talking about him before you guys start making fun of me.

Advantage: Warriors

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Klay Thompson

Thompson can shoot, and he's got the green light all the time. Harden will probably cover him in order to hide, but Thompson will still get plenty of good looks. For the Rockets to win tonight quite a few things have to go their way. First and foremost of those is that Harden has to score and keep everyone involved.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Harrison Barnes

Barnes is an intriguing rookie out of North Carolina. A lot of people were down on him coming into the draft, but he's thriving in the Bay Area. He went 9-11 in their last matchup against the Suns.

He's blessed to have scorers on his team, so he's been able to adjust at his own pace to the NBA. Instead of having a large burden he does basically what Parsons does, which is defend and then do a little of everything. So far he's been successful, and he's produced some pretty jaw-dropping dunks too.

Advantage: Even

Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. David Lee

David Lee was named Western Conference Player of the Week, which is sure to give him a ton of confidence just in time to play the Rockets. Thanks Stern.

I'm sure he really wanted to name Curry the Eastern Conference PotW, but someone told him he couldn't.

Lee is also spectacular. As is Lee (UofTOrange).

Advantage: Warriors

Center: Omer Asik vs. Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut (when healthy) is a rich man's Omer Asik.

Bogut plays tremendous defense and has a good offensive game to supplement. I said at the time that when the Bucks traded Bogut, it was only a matter of time before Scott Skiles was gone. As it is, he's an incredible piece for the Warriors and rounds out one of the best starting 5s in the NBA.

It's only an even here because Bogut is still rounding into form after injury.

Advantage: Even

Bench

Rockets: Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfino, Greg Smith, Marcus Morris, Patrick Beverley

Warriors: Carl Landry, Draymond Green, Richard Jefferson, Jarrett Jack

Advantage: Warriors

Prediction: Warriors are too much, win 111-102.

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