Revenge is the name of the game tonight for the San Antonio Spurs. As in, the Spurs want revenge.
Health is the name of the game tonight for the Rockets. As in, they need it.
A month ago, the Rockets picked up a win that many figured with springboard into the top of the Western Conference. Instead, they've gone 5-6 since the win and have fallen to sixth place in TLW.
Meanwhile, the Spurs have kept winning, Spurs-style. You know, chugga chugga win win. And everyone ignores them. Once again, we refuse to ignore them here. The Spurs are my pick to win the NBA championship this season, though OKC, Miami, and Indiana are still trying to convince me. Still, the Spurs seem to be a team on a mission and I expect them to be there in June.
As a follow-up to the Mavs game, my brothers are now 0-2 when they get nice tickets from friends. The first game was game 6 against the Thunder, so now they're personally responsible for two of our roughest losses in recent memory. Therefore, they're not allowed back with friends.
The Rockets need to bounce back, but I just don't see it happening tonight. The Rockets end December with games at home against Memphis and New Orleans, on the road at OKC, and home against Sacramento. If the Rockets can finish 3-2 and wrap up December at .500, I'll count that as a win with all the injuries.
And you're lucky I don't use some of the terms that they use over at Pounding The Rock. Otherwise, my previews would be filled with terms like "SEGABABA" and "FIGASENI" since the Rockets play so many back-to-backs. Here's their lexicon to help decipher some of the things they say.
Finally, all of us at The Dream Shake would like to wish you and your family a merry Christmas and happy holidays. Go Rockets!
Tip off is at 7pm CST.
Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Tony Parker
Parker is averaging 18/6/3, but he carried the Spurs through the second quarter the first time these teams met en route to a 27/8/6 scoreline.
As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.
Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Marco Belinelli
I have no idea what to say here. Will the Rockets rest Harden? Will Belinelli keep shooting 98% from three this season (all statistics approximate)?
Advantage: I Still Have No Idea
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Kawhi Leonard
Easily one of the coolest stories you'll read about this Christmas season. Good on Chandler Parsons.
Leonard played poorly the first time these teams met. There's no way that continues. The Rockets will have to limit Leonard to long jump shots and not let him get a rhythm off of layups and short corner three pointers.
Power Forward: Terrence Jones vs. Tim Duncan
One day Terrence Jones will get to play power forwards that aren't incredible.
Today is not that day.
Center: Dwight Howard vs. Tiago Splitter
Splitter will start, but Diaw will play a bunch and shift Duncan to the 5. Splitter will flop as much as possible to keep Dwight off the score sheet and the officials will buy it because the game is in San Antonio.
The Spurs started Diaw last time in an attempt to spread the floor not allow Jones to run Splitter or Duncan ragged. They may do the same thing tonight.
Rockets: Aaron Brooks, Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi
Spurs: Jeff Ayers, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Danny Green, Matt Bonner
Prediction: Spurs run roughshod over the Rockets and it's like the Pacers game all over again. Spurs win 123-88.
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