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Game 72 Preview: Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets

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If this were Cold Stone, the Rockets would Gotta Have It. I've used that one before, but how many ways can I say, "We have to win this game."

It's a must-win. We gotta win it. We can't afford to lose. We're too cool for school. Many hands make light work. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There's no I in team. Don't write checks your ass can't cash. If you're going to talk the talk you better walk the walk.

So, that about does it. These teams could not have started the season any more differently. The Warriors started the season 6-2. The Rockets were 0-5. The Warriors had youth and a new big (David Lee). The Rockets weren't young enough for some and had an old broken big (Yao Ming).

Now they're in similar positions to last season. The Rockets are fighting to get in, and the Warriors and wondering what would have happened if injuries hadn't ravaged their season. The Rockets are thinking that, too, but we've all but forgotten about what Yao Ming brought to the table. You guys know my stance, and I know it's unpopular, and that's cool. To each his own. And I'm going to stop before I say any more cliches. OK, one more.

Let's get ready to rumble!

Game starts at 7:30 CST.

Other notable games tonight:

Memphis at Boston, Utah at OKC, Toronto at Phoenix

Matchups...

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Stephen Curry:

Wow, what a conundrum. Lowry is a stud. Curry is a stud. Lowry has been extra studly as of late. Curry hasn't been.

Discussion over.

Advantage: Rockets

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Monta Ellis: 

Scoring!

That is all.

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Advantage: Even

SF: Courtney Lee vs. Dorell Wright:

I don't know if Lee will start. I just assume he will.

Wright started the year really well, but hasn't been able to keep up his torrid pace. Outside of the first matchup between the teams when he couldn't miss at all, he hasn't done much to the Rockets. His averages are all up, but so is his usage rate. His minutes are about double what they were last season, and his stats are (gasp!) all about double what they were last season.

It's almost like there's a correlation.

Advantage: Rockets

PF: Patrick Patterson vs. Ekpe Udoh:

Rookies! Time to play a quiz:

Player A: 5.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 56.2% shooting

Player B: 3.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 43.8% shooting

Yeah, that wasn't hard. Oh wait, Luis Scola is starting? OK, so I just wanted to compare the rookies. Yes, the sample size is tiny and Patterson has been playing much better as of late, but the point is valid currently.

Advantage: Rockets

C: Chuck Hayes vs. David Lee:

Chuck is averaging 15/8/4 against the Warriors this season. Oh, and don't think I missed those two blocks against the Jazz.

David Lee is averaging 18/11/5 against the Rockets. I would not like this to continue.

Chuck, the onus (Oh my God AK used a hard word!) is on you. How's the little one?

Advantage: Warriors

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Bench:

Warriors: Al Thornton, Reggie Williams, Louis Amundson, Vladimir Radmanovic, Acie Law

Rockets: Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee (maybe here, maybe not)Brad MillerPatrick PattersonJordan Hill, Mike Harris

Advantage: Rockets

Injuries:

Warriors: Andris Biedrins out

Rockets: Yao out,  Terrence Williams probably out

Prediction: Rockets have it wrapped up by the third quarter

Warriors vs Rockets coverage

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