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Rockets aim to end losing streak as they visit undermanned Pelicans

Houston heads to NOLA looking to improve upon their (4-15) away record.

Houston Rockets v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Houston Rockets (10-27) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (23-14) January 4, 2023, 7:00 p.m. CT

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: SportsTalk790

Online: Rockets App

Pelicans SB Nation Blog: The Bird Writes

Projected Starting Lineups

Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, Eric Gordon, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Şengün

Pelicans: CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III, Herb Jones, Naji Marshall, Jonas Valanciunas

What is up good people of The Dream Shake? Your Rockets take on the Pelicans tonight in the second matchup between these two clubs. The Pelicans won that first game 119-106 in part to a 13-0 run in the final two minutes of the game.

The difference between that November bout and this one is that the birds will be down their top two players, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Although New Orleans is still a relatively deep team and is favored at -7.0, it’s imperative that the Rockets win this game and show some of that “improvement” that we are all longing for.

My eyes will be especially fixed on Jabari Smith Jr. for this game. Ideally, he should get more opportunities versus a weakened frontcourt of the Pelicans. He’s had a slight uptick in production each month of the season so it would be nice to see that trend continue.

I predicted the team would go 24-58 in our season preview and as we rapidly near the halfway point, they’ll need to win a couple of games to stay on pace for that guess.

Will they or won’t they?