If you were the Orlando Magic, you couldn't have drawn this up any better.
You haven't played since Sunday. The Rockets played last night. You pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets held on all the way against the Miami Heat. You haven't gone anywhere in the last few days. The Rockets will be flying in early in the morning and getting little sleep. Oh, and Houston is losing an hour by flying east.
This isn't a trap game, because it's obviously a tough one for the Rockets against a young and fast Magic squad. The Rockets had the advantage of the schedule last night against the Heat, but tonight the tables are turned.
Tip off is at 6:00pm CST.
Point Guard: Patrick Beverley vs. Ronnie Price
How bad are the Sixers? Price went 0-7 against them, missed all 5 of his three pointers, and finished with 0 points.
And he was +4 on the night.
Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Victor Oladipo
This kills me, because I love Oladipo. I know I've talked about this before, but I'll mention it again.
I went to Tech, but our basketball team is awesome. So I've developed a few "B" teams to root for. Not that they're bad teams, but they aren't my "A" team (Tech).
I root for Indiana and Gonzaga, two teams that aren't ridiculously popular but whose coaches and styles I enjoy. So I saw a bunch of Oladipo over his couple of seasons at Indiana where he really played. He was so much fun to watch because he had that Beverley ability to disrupt everything. Plus he's a freakish athlete that was already a tough worker on defense that continues to get better on the offensive end.
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Tobias Harris
Harris had 31 points on 11-20 shooting and 9-9 from the free throw line against the Sixers. He also pulled down 8 rebounds and grabbed 3 steals. That's pretty solid.
Parsons, oh you know, helped take a guy who scored 61 and held him to 22. No big deal.
Power Forward: Terrence Jones vs. Maurice Harkless
Harkless is a small forward too. In fact he's smaller than Harris so he's probably the real small forward and Harris plays PF, except playing positionless is a thing now so it doesn't really matter at all.
Center: Dwight Howard vs. Nikola Vucevic
This will be Dwight Howard's second return to Orlando since leaving, but his first with the Rockets. Expect some boos, etc.
Ho hum Vucevic averaging a double-double (14/11) for a bad team. He's been a steal for the Magic.
Rockets: Jeremy Lin, Omri Casspi, Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas, Jordan Hamilton, Francisco Garcia
Magic: Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, E'Twaun Moore, Adonis Thomas
Prediction: Rockets win 108-101.
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