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Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks game preview

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The Rockets look to build upon their impressive win over the Mavericks when they take on Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks tonight in Toyota Center.

These guys beat the Mavericks. Yes, these guys.
These guys beat the Mavericks. Yes, these guys.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If you had told you that the Rockets would go 1-1 against the Lakers and Mavericks and you could pick which team we would beat, which would you choose?

Yeah, that's what I thought. Suck it Chandler!

The Rockets welcome the Knicks to Toyota Center tonight in the third game of this 5-game homestand. Before these games started I assume the Rockets would have shot for 5-0, been ecstatic with 4-1, been okay with 3-2, and would have been pissed with anything less than that.

With Dwight out for an extended amount of time and Terrence Jones out indefinitely, I bet we can adjust that by 2 games. Houston be ecstatic with 3-2. Heck, I could live with 2-3 assuming that Houston isn't getting their frontcourt back this week.

The Knicks are coming in riding a win over the Sixers after pulling away in the third quarter. Houston struggled both times against the Sixers and against the Knicks at home last year, so this game should be entertaining to say the least.

Also, I have a question. I know many of you aren't Kevin McHale fans because of the way he runs (or doesn't run) the offense. So, let's say the Rockets fired Kevin McHale today and went looking for a coach. Who would you hire? You can't steal coaches from other teams, and more than likely JVG is off limits (he didn't run much of an offense anyway). Who's out there? Mike D'Antoni? Mike Brown? Vinny Del Negro? Give me a name that makes sense and I'll jump on the McHale Hate Train right now. Okay that's not true. But I'll start looking at the ticket line.

Tip off is at 7pm CST.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Patrick Beverley vs. Jose Calderon

I'm assuming that Beverley is going to play since he said it was just precautionary to stay out of the game Saturday night. If he doesn't play, we'll get some Isaiah Canaan. Maybe.

Advantage: Even?

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Iman Shumpert

Shh! Don't tell anyone that Harden has been playing defense all season. The media picked up on it finally when the Rockets were on NBA TV and Harden was clutch on the defensive end late in that game.

By the way, I love the Harden "I'm not defensive" commercial. The Tim Duncan and John Cena ones are good too. But if this isn't your favorite Foot Locker commercial, you're just wrong.

Whoo! Come on baby!

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Trevor Ariza vs. Carmelo Anthony

I'm sure some fans will boo Melo, and I kind of get that.

I'm always okay with players taking the money. These guys have a finite number of years where they're making money and even fewer of those years as top players. So keep getting those checks Melo.

My only issue is how NBA players say "I want to win a championship. Winning is all that matters." Then they turn around and take as much money as possible. If Melo had just signed for the max like Joe Johnson did in Atlanta, I wouldn't say anything. But he talked a big game about winning and that just seems stupid to me. You can't have it both ways, so don't pretend that's what you want.

Advantage: Knicks

Power Forward: Donatas Motiejunas vs. Quincy Acy

Acy is good for a couple of dunks per game and a bunch of hustle. He's really more of a backup if anything but he'll be playing against a man who many think isn't even good enough to be a backup.

D-Mo had a great game against the Mavs and while Houston's interior defense wasn't great it clearly wasn't as leaky as I expected in that Houston didn't even surrender 100 points to the high-octane Mavericks offense. So I'm giving D-Mo props here.

Advantage: Rockets

Center: Tarik Black vs. Samuel Dalembert

Get well soon, Dwight.

Advantage: Knicks

Bench

Rockets: Propeller Plane, Kostas Papanikolaou, Joey Dorsey, um?

Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr., Amare Stoudemire, Jason Smith, Pablo Prigioni, J.R. Smith

Advantage: Knicks

Prediction: Melo makes shots, Knicks win 98-94.

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