14 games in 26 days.
That's what stands between the Rockets and the playoffs.
8 of the 14 are on the road
10 will be against teams assured or working towards the playoffs.
There are five back-to-backs.
Only three games are against the Eastern Conference, and they're all tough. Tonight vs. the Pacers, then tomorrow at Chicago (which I am sure Derrick Rose will come back just in time for), and at Miami in our penultimate game.
You know what they say: nothing worth having in life is easy.
And by the way, the NBA schedule makers screwed up and gave Indiana a game last night against the Spurs. Don't they know they're supposed to play us first (on a back-to-back) and then play a well-rested Utah or Denver team? Stupid NBA schedule makers.
Slightly early tip-off at 6pm CST.
Matchups after the jump.
PG: Goran Dragic vs. Darren Collison:
Much like Patrick, I was beginning to think Dragic was going to hit a wall. I'm just glad he said it first. That way, if he does you guys won't blame me.
The book on defending Collison is pretty much the same as most other good point guards: don't let him shoot threes or drives. Force him to be a shooter, though. Basically, render him invisible and you've neutralized him.
Wow, that sounds even stupider than it did in my head.
SG: Courtney Lee vs. Paul George:
Paul George is exactly six years older than my twin brothers.
Unfortunately, my brothers aren't 6-8, 215 lbs and freakishly athletic.
George is almost the exact definition of an x-factor. He can kill you, or he can focus on defense. He can score a ton of points and the Pacers can still lose. He can look terrible in box score and the team can still win.
But every team needs a Paul George, and the Pacers have a 21-year-old version of him that they can have for a long time.
SF: Chandler Parsons vs. Danny Granger:
Rudy Gay one night, Danny Granger two nights later, Luol Deng tomorrow, Kobe Bryant coming up too.
If I were Chandler Parsons, I would be getting so pissed right now. Luckily, I'm not the lead singer of "I Ripped Out My Heart For Pain" or whatever other emo band Parsons plays bass for.
PF: Luis Scola vs. David West:
Do you like offense? Do you wish teams would stop playing defense?
Well then do I have the matchup for you! These two have had some epic battles filling with lots of scoring and optional defense. Both usually decline that option.
West has always been a thorn in the Rockets' side though. We'll see if he still is without Chris Paul.
C: Samuel Dalembert vs. Roy Hibbert:
This is going to make for an interesting matchup. But instead of going into it, I'm going to put this video up:
Onion Sportsdome- Pacers Top 10 Plays (via kcsoccerpimp53)
Pacers: Tyler Hansbrough, George Hill, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Dahntay Jones
Rockets: Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Camby, Earl Boykins
Rockets: Lowry out, Martin out
Prediction: Pacers 100-93
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Pacers vs Rockets coverage