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Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game preview

The Rockets look to build on their two-game winning streak tonight when they travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers.


Alas, my preview can never reach Xiane's sophisticated old-school recap from Thursday night, but I can at least help you get a bit of a basketball fix today before the Rockets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at 6:30pm CST.

Dwight Howard's status tonight is unclear, with reports Friday saying that he's 50-50. More than likely, we'll get the "We'll see" from Kevin McHale followed by another off night for Howard. Spencer Hawes, Tyler Zeller, and Anderson Varejao will get time at the center position. Omer Asik has had trouble with Hawes in the past, and Zeller might be a bit quicker than Turkish Delight, but still Asik should be the best center on the court.

Frankly, the Rockets shouldn't need him tonight. The Cavaliers will be without Kyrie Irving, and even though they have weapons on the court and a firecracker that can go off on either team.

The Cavs will start Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, and Hawes. Both Luol Deng and C.J. Miles missed the Cavs' last game with left ankle injuries. Deng is probably closer to being available than Miles, but we'll see.

Once again, tonight is one of those games that isn't a "must-win," but rather a "should-win." It feels odd to say that after years of good but not great Rockets teams that had to fight to beat teams they were better than. But the Rockets should expect themselves to be on a 5-game winning streak when the Clippers visit Houston exactly one week for tonight.

Finally, can we take a moment to realize that the Rockets already have a better record than they had last year? Oh, and there's still 14 games left to be played.