It’s the battle of new ages between the Houston Rockets and The New Orleans Hornets. These teams have a lot of new faces and are very young. Both teams are stacked with talent waiting to breakout. There will be a few matchups to pay attention to. But most eyes will be on Jeremy Lin and the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis.
Newly acquired Omer Asik will be matched up against the rookie Anthony Davis in the second game of the preseason. Asik showed exactly why Houston signed him to a big contract in the offseason by rebounding, blocking shots and getting monster dunks down low in the first game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. But that was against Cole Aldrich. He will need to bring his A-game against this rookie phenom in New Orleans. Davis has him beat in athletic ability and speed, but Asik has him beat in experience and defense. This will be a great matchup to watch.
Another matchup to keep an eye on is Kevin Martin and Eric Gordon. Both guys are boarder-line stars in the NBA and will look to take that next step this coming up season. Both guys are top-notch scorers who will look to get it going early.
Jeremy Lin looked a little stiff in his first game of the preseason. He showed some good signs with his passing but struggled defensively against Russell Westbrook. He’s still not 100% due to his offseason knee surgery so fans should give him the benefit of the doubt for now. This game should come easier for him. The Hornets are not totally sure who their point guard will be. Is it Austin Davis? Eric Gordon? Or is it somebody else? The Hornets will look to figure this out in the preseason. Lin should take advantage of it.
After seeing game one of the preseason I would like to see more of Terrence Jones, especially against Ryan Anderson. Anderson likes to stand around the three-point line and shoot from deep. Patrick Patterson struggles defensively, especially when he gets dragged out of the paint. Jones can do it all on both sides of the floor. He could give Anderson a tough time offensively and defensively. Look to see if Kevin McHale gives him a shot against Anderson.
A lot of NBA Analysts have both of these teams finishing at the bottom of the west this season. These teams are pretty evenly matched and will look to prove those analysts to be wrong by making a run in the Western Conference standings.