A quick note about the Mavs game and the Lakers in general before I really get into the preview.
Dallas was coming off humiliation against a team it had dominated in previous meetings. They were playing at home, in front of a crowd that expected them to win and still make a late charge for the playoffs. The Mavs got fantastic games from five players by my count, whereas most of the Rockets played like garbage (Parsons and Asik were co-MVPs in my book, with Harden doing well to get to the line when his shot wouldn't fall).
The Mavs outshot the Rockets from the field and from 3. They had fewer turnovers, passed the ball better than the Rockets, prevented the good guys from getting on the break, and really dominated every aspect of the game while being the more desperate team and playing at home.
And they won by 4.
Xiane was right when he said the Mavs played as well as they could against the Rockets. If the Mavericks could play like that for 82 games, they might sneak into the playoffs. But they won't, so HA!
Also, it sucks that the Hornets blew that game against the Lakers last night. And no, there wasn't a conspiracy or anything like that. The Lakers made shots and the Hornets didn't. Why can't teams collapse like that against us? It's always teams like the Lakers and Heat that get those breaks. But when the Hornets play the Rockets, all of a sudden New Orleans plays for their lives and refuse to go down without a protracted fight. That sucks.
As for tonight's opponent, the Warriors have won their last two after dropping four of five on a road trip. Looking at their remaining schedule, they've got their hands full, but there's some freebies in there too. Also, it always seems like the Warriors are playing the Kings. Am I the only one who thinks that? I swear those teams play each other 35 times a year. The Warriors have also played 8 more games on the road than at home, which will help them.
Tip-off at 9:30pm CST on the Four-Letter Network.
PG: Jeremy Lin vs. Stephen Curry
This is like a basketball IQ test. If you think Jeremy Lin is better than Steph Curry, then you aren't a very intelligent basketball fan.
Advantage: Golden State
SG: James Harden vs. Klay Thompson
Thompson is an interesting piece for the Warriros. He's an incredible shooter and hit a big three late for the Warriors Wednesday against the (guess who?) Kings.
On the other hand, he's isn't incredible athletic and the Rockets love when they can run on a shooter or team in general. The Warriors become more dangerous to a poor defensive team like the Rockets when Jarrett Jack is in the game. This isn't to take away from Thompson, but he's a guy the Rockets will target.
Just like the Warriors will target Harden on D.
SF: Chandler Parsons vs. Harrison Barnes
Where did this Chandler Parsons come from? I like him. He's confident in his shot and going to the basket, but I'd like to see a little more defense from him, same as everyone else on the Rockets.
PF: Donatas Motiejunas vs. David Lee
I like Lee, but I can't think of much to write about him, so I'll post this video that I think is the funniest thing to happen in the NBA all year.
Blake Griffin hits side of the backboard - Warriors' fans & bench approve (2012.01.02) (via kietasss)
Advantage: Golden State
C: Omer Asik vs. Andrew Bogut
Bogut has been hobbled by a back injury. As Rockets fans, we understand injuries to big men and I personally hate seeing them. Bogut is fun to watch and plays well on both ends of the court, so hopefully he can get healthy in time for the playoffs and do some damage.
Jarrett Jack is really the only backcourt player the Warriors have coming off the bench. With the youth of Curry and Thompson, it works well. In the frontcourt, Festus Ezeli, Richard Jefferson, Draymond Green, and Carl Landry will get time on the court.
The Rockets have Patrick Beverley, Carlos Delfino, Thomas Robinson, Greg Smith and Francisco Garcia
Prediction: No prediction. The line is Warriors (-2.5) and the O/U is 224.5.
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