The Rockets may be dealing with some deja vu today as they return to New York after being in town a few nights ago to play the Knicks. This time, they'll face the 16-21 Nets (good for seventh in the East!) at the Barclay's Center. Houston will stay in the same hotel and everything so at least they're familiar with the process in New York.
ANY TIME YOU'RE IN BROOKLYN YOU HAVE TO HAVE BACON PANCAKES!!!
Good luck keeping that out of your head.
Schedule breakdown: Both teams played on Saturday. The Nets went to Detroit and lost to the red-hot Pistons.
Tip off is at 6:30pm CST.
Point Guard: Patrick Beverley vs. Jarrett Jack
With Deron Williams out with an injury, Jack has taken over the starting point guard spot in Brooklyn. (Hubie voice) Now we know he can hit the mid-range, all right. He's not going to beat you on defense, okay, but he can get to the basket and run your offense, you see.
Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Bojan Bogdanovic
The Nets have had some weird lineups lately. KG has played every other game in their last five and Lopez has been coming off the bench in those games.
Another oddity has been Bogdanovic's recent play. In his last five games, here are his minutes totals: 8, 4, 11, 13, 27. He started in their last game against Detroit so I'm putting him here.
NBA stars like to show up in Brooklyn because of Jay-Z. We'll see if Harden cares about that stuff. Houston lost in this building last year and didn't really play well at all.
Small Forward: Trevor Ariza vs. Joe Johnson
There was a time not long ago that Rockets fans would have given their right arm for Johnson. He was seen as the next T-Mac, a wing scorer who could carry the offensive load. We'll never really know if Daryl Morey coveted JJ in the same way since Atlanta gave him a max in 2010 and he (rightfully) jumped all over that before Houston or anyone else had a chance to try to recruit him.
Well, he's still a great shooter and can light it up from beyond the arc. So Ariza will have his hands full tonight.
Power Forward: Donatas Motiejunas vs. Kevin Garnett
I would love to see this D-Mo vs. 5-years-ago KG. That would have been a fun matchup. Now, prime KG would have crushed D-Mo because he crushed everyone. But KG on his way down against up-and-coming Donatas Motiejunas would be fantastic.
Center: Dwight Howard vs. Mason Plumlee
Plumlee struggled on the boards against Detroit's front line, but he did score 14 points on 7-10 shooting. He also pulled down double-doubles in the Nets' previous two games. He's averaging 10/7 on the season and shooting 67% in his last 10 games. He's athletic and probably has a long tenure in this league.
Dwight didn't seem into the game against the Jazz. He was careless with the ball and looked disinterested for stretches. Seriously, when was the last time Dwight took zero free throws? My heart appreciates no Dwight Howard Free Throw Experience, but the Rockets need him drawing fouls to allow everyone else to drive.
He's got to be on his A game, especially against teams like the Nets that shouldn't be able to stop him.
Rockets: Propeller Plane, Josh Smith, Corey Brewer, Joey Dorsey, Kostas Papanikolaou
Nets: Mirza Teletovic, Jerome Jordan, Brook Lopez, Darius Morris, Sergey Karasev, Alan Anderson
Prediction: (Ed. Note: AK didn't leave a prediction here, presumably because he's tired of trying to reverse-jinx the Rockets into a win. My prediction: Rockets 105-87)
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