Never get too high during the highs and never get too low during the lows.
During their eight game winning streak, Houston seemed unbeatable at times and just good enough to win games at others. The latter caught up to them in a poor showing against a good Denver Nuggets team. Now the Rockets get a rematch against the team that they barely squeaked by last week.
That game didn’t feature Paul George, who is back in the lineup for LA. Houston put in their best defensive performance to date, holding the former Rockets (Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell) to a combined 13-44 overall and 1-13 from deep. The Clippers as a unit shot 38.8%. Houston actually shot worse overall but got timely buckets from the bearded fellow.
Los Angeles is going to be impossible to score against in the playoffs, but they are still finding themselves in the regular season as they try to integrate Leonard and George into last year’s team while still finding time for load management. But the Clippers know that they’re built for the playoffs, so the regular season isn’t as big of a concern as it might be for most teams.
My guess is that Doc Rivers plays this off as a revenge game after getting kicked from the last matchup, partially due to Austin Rivers imploring Tony Brothers to kick his father out. That gifted us a fun moment early in the season. I think the Clippers have an array of offensive and defensive talent to give the Rockets fits, and if James Harden’s supporting cast turns in a dud like they did against the Nuggets, it could be a long night in the City of Angels.
Tip-off is at 9:30pm CT on ESPN