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Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game preview

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The Rockets look to snap a three-game slide when the potentially Chris Paul-less Clippers come to the Toyota Center

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Yep, we're going back to the cheerleader pictures, since we need a win pretty badly.

So I wrote a ton about Chris Paul then found out he might not play.

In fact, he didn't play last night against the Grizzlies, who shot 30% from the field and lost at home 99-73 to the Clippers. So if you're thinking, "No CP3=guaranteed win," think again.

The Clippers have a front court that can be difficult to score on when they play defense and an absolutely freakishly athletic team. Plus, they have the best bench in basketball. The Clippers swept the Rockets last year and when you want to make the playoffs, you have to beat a team like the Clippers at least once. Teams can't sweep you if you're serious about getting to the dance.

I wish I could write more about the matchups, but my internet has been terrible since last week.

Tip off is at 7pm CST.

Programming note: OJ ATM will be writing the preview for tomorrow's game against the Mavericks. He has allegiances to both cities and teams so his knowledge of the Mavs is absolutely worth your time. Please treat him with the respect that you normally show me.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Eric Bledsoe

For all the people who've wanted Eric Bledsoe to start, this has to be nice. Granted, we all want him starting over Willie Green, but let's not pick nits here.

Advantage: Rockets

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Willie Green

There's a reason there are people that want Bledsoe to start over Green. So obviously, Green will hit five threes tonight to cancel out Harden.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Caron Butler

Butler will probably play well against us, but this is a prime game for Parsons to get his groove back, Stella-style.

Advantage: Rockets

Power Forward: Marcus Morris vs. Blake Griffin

Question: if you had the number 1 pick in 2009 knowing what we know now, would you take Griffin or Harden? Or Hasheem Thabeet?

Advantage: Clippers

Center: Omer Asik vs. DeAndre Jordan

Ask Tom about DeAndre. They went to the same high school, actually.

Advantage: Rockets

Bench

Rockets: Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfino, Patrick Patterson, Greg Smith

Clippers: Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Ronny Turiaf, Lamar Odom

Advantage: Clippers

Prediction: Clippers win 98-92

Houston Rockets Tickets