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Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors game preview

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s a real shame that Steph Curry is injured and can’t play this year.

For one thing, Curry is an incredible player that changed the NBA forever with his ability to shoot incredible three pointers from all parts of the floor. He also has a remarkable ability to finish at the rim, in addition to his array of floaters that he can hit from the free throw line at ease.

I’m disappointed that we barely got to see Curry this season, and I’m pretty sure he won’t return at all if the Warriors have their way. For most of Curry’s career, he’s been compared to Harden. While Curry has been the media darling, he’s also gotten the better of Harden in every important matchup between the two. That includes four playoff series and an MVP battle in 2015. For most (read: all) of those seasons, Curry has also had an objectively better supporting cast than Harden has had.

However, with Kevin Durant gone to Brooklyn and Klay Thompson out for the season, it felt like Curry might have to deal with a similar roster as Harden for once: Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, and a cast of role players. I was excited to see the two of them on even footing and I was really excited to see how Curry would do in the Harden role where he would get to shoot as much as possible. I thought he could take the Harden blueprint to the next level and shoot even further out.

Anyway, the Rockets have to prepare for the Golden State Warriors players that are healthy. That includes Green and Andrew Wiggins, who came over in a trade for Russell. Marquese Chriss will get another chance to prove that the Rockets were wrong for not believing in him. And Damion Lee certainly remembers his Christmas Day game against the Rockets when he dropped 22 points and 15 rebounds to go with 10-10 shooting from the free throw line.

This begins a stretch of 15 games for Houston in which 10 opponents have losing records. Furthermore, the Rockets don’t play a back-to-back until March 7-8, which means Russell Westbrook will be available for all of those contests if he’s healthy.

The Rockets will be looking for their first win at the new Chase Center tonight as well. Houston gets a chance to use its small ball lineup against the team that first popularized going small with their Death Lineup. We also might get our first look at new Rockets DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Green.

Tip-off is at 9:30pm CT on TNT