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Rockets vs. Bucks gamethread

Small-ball has a tall task ahead of them.

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets will play the two best teams in the NBA in the next five nights. The first game will be tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee is probably the most challenging matchup for Houston’s infamous small-ball style of play. The Bucks like to play big, integrating both of the behemoth Lopez brothers into the lineup, and they have tons of long, athletic defenders.

If there was ever a team to constantly out-rebound the Rockets and shutdown the paint for a driving James Harden or Russell Westbrook, it would be this one. This the ultimate test for how viable Houston’s gameplan is for a championship — at least until Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Some game news: the Bucks will be without Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton tonight (coach’s decision). The Rockets are still without Eric Gordon, of course.

Do the Houston Rockets have the manpower to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo? Will James Harden have a good night against the Bucks’ stellar defense? Will Westbrook prove he’s the second piece to this puzzle?

Last, but surely not least, LET’S GO ROCKETS!