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Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs game preview

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

The best games in the NBA are games where both teams expect to win.

Narratives dominate the league, and more often than not, the narrative wins the day. Favorites are favorites for a reason, after all. There’s something that mentally places one team as the underdog and the other as the favorite.

So when both teams think they’re the favorite, that’s when the magic happens.

The Houston Rockets have lost 11 of their last 12 games. The San Antonio Spurs have lost seven of their last eight. If ever there was a game where two (current) lottery teams played each other and both expected to win, it’s this one. Having said that, I have probably doomed us to a blowout loss.

Then again, I’m not so sure what the Spurs are trying to accomplish. They have some impressive wins (swept Boston, plus road wins over Milwaukee, Utah, Golden State, and both LA teams) and some really close losses (nine by five points or fewer). They’ve been blown out a few times, too.

The Spurs of course have the best coach in the NBA, Gregg Popovich. They have Dejounte Murray, who has taken the reins of the team and is the unquestioned leader on the court. Like Houston, they’re heavy on guards and light on bigs (Jakob Poeltl is the only one you would call “above average”). They’ve been letting rookie Joshua Primo get some minutes with players missing due to the protocols. Lonnie Walker IV still exists, though Rockets fans probably still don’t like him because of the Dunkgate game.

For the Spurs, Tre Jones and Doug McDermott have been out due to COVID protocols. Armoni Brooks missed Monday’s game for the same reason. Eric Gordon is day-to-day with groin soreness, and Alperen Sengun is also out with an ankle injury.

Tip-off is at 7:30pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest