The Rockets are coming off a huge win.
The Cavaliers are coming off a disappointing loss.
People throw out "trap game" a lot around here (you know who you are), but that's tough to determine before you have hindsight. If the Rockets lose to a bad team, it was a trap game. If they win, it wasn't.
But this is a real trap game. The Cavs are missing Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and Dion Waiters. The Cavs blew a 27-point loss at home. The Rockets have to win this game, and the Cavs are content to lose it.
That's not necessarily a trap game, but when you're playing a team that you should beat, at home, coming off a big win when your opponent is coming off a devastating loss, that's a trap game.
Tip-off at 7pm CST.
Former Rockets face off tonight in Houston. Granted, Lin is a current Rocket, and playing very well as of late. His play in the second half ensured a Rockets win over the Jazz.
I wonder if Lin's performance will bring up whether he or Harden should run the show in crunch time. Like always, I think you run through your regular offense and let whoever has played the best dictate the flow late.
Ellington is the Cavs' best three point shooter. He's a guy who can get hot and do a little bit of everything. He's dangerous, but I think the Rockets will keep him in relative check.
Gee is not a great player, but he's not a hindrance.
For the Rockets, Parsons has really come into his own this season. His offense has improved incredibly, but he hasn't been the defensive presence that he was last season. That hasn't hurt the Rockets since the team is centered around their offensive game.
It would be nice to see a shutdown performance from Parsons soon. Against Gee isn't the time, but maybe against Paul George in the next game.
Look at me looking ahead. IT'S A TRAP GAME!
The Cavs' offense will run through Thompson without the aforementioned trio. Obviously the Cavs have other players who can score or contribute, but Thompson is almost averaging a triple double and is the easiest candidate to be the guy who beats the Rockets. It's important to box him out and keep him out of the paint.
The Rockets passed up Zeller for Royce White. Ouch.
Prediction: Rockets start sluggish, calm down and win by 11.