Houston Rockets Vs. Boston Celtics Preview


Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

A former Rocket will face off against his former team Friday night as the Houston Rockets host the Boston Celtics.

Courtney Lee will make his first appearance in Houston after the Rockets declined to bring him back in the offseason. So far Lee is having the worst year of his career. He’s averaging just 5.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1 steal in just 24 minutes a game. He’s shooting 45% from the field but just 28% from downtown.

Lee was a big part of the Rockets success last year when he stepped in place of Kevin Martin who was injured at the end of the season. He had one of his best years of his career in Houston and will look to get back to that form for the remainder of the season. And don’t think for one second that he doesn’t want to stick it to his former team. But I think James Harden might have something to say about that.

The Celtics have a slew of new players and in my opinion have gotten much better over the offseason with the moves they made. With that being said the Celtics are struggling so far this season with a 12-9 record. I think it’s more due to the fact that they haven’t exactly figured out how to play together and the coaches haven’t quite figured out the rotation yet.

Rajon Rondo is a top 3 point guard in this league and he will definitely give Jeremy Lin fits on both sides of the floor. So far this season he is averaging 13.2 points on 48% shooting, 13 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2 steals in 38 minutes a game.

In order for the Rockets to get a win they will desperately need to Lin to step up his play. He needs to make Rondo work for everything he gets offensively and make him work defensively. Lin needs to get more involved with the offense instead of just passing it off. He also needs to play better defense outside of getting multiple steals.

Paul Peirce has been in the league for 14 years. He’s 35 years old. If Chandler Parsons can get stops against guys like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James he should be able to shut Peirce down. Peirce is off to a great start so far this year, averaging 20 points a game. He’s going to get his, Parsons just needs to keep it to a minimum.

I want to see Omer Asik take a crack at guarding Kevin Garnett. He’s a tough veteran who can step out and shoot it or back you down and go over the top. I personally don’t think Patrick Patterson stands a chance against him and will be intimidated by Garnett’s toughness. I want Asik to put his big body on him and attempt to slow him down before the fourth quarter.

James Harden and Toney Douglas will need to do a good job defensively on Jason Terry. Every Rockets fan knows he’s a Rocket killer and nothing has changed since he left the Dallas Mavericks. Terry is having a bit of a down year this season but look for him to pick it up against his former rival.

The key’s to winning for the Rockets is stopping the big three, especially Rondo. Defense will play a big part in if the Rockets get a win or not. They also need to get easy baskets. Don’t get into a shooting match against a team like this or you will get blown out. Even with their struggles so far this season it would be huge if the Rockets walked out with a win over a veteran Boston team.