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Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic game preview

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The Rockets look to build upon a fantastic win over the Miami Heat when they play the Magic on a back-to-back in Orlando.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Matchups:

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.

Advantage: Rockets

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.

Advantage: Rockets

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.

Advantage: Even

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.

Advantage: Rockets

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.

Advantage: Rockets

Bench

Rockets: Jeremy Lin, Omri Casspi, Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas, Jordan Hamilton, Francisco Garcia

Magic: Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, E'Twaun Moore, Adonis Thomas

Advantage: Rockets

Prediction: Rockets win 108-101.

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