Houston Rockets Vs Philadelphia 76ers Preview

By Michael Ma

Key points for the Houston Rockets in Wednesday night’s matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Jan 12, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young (21) celebrates a dunk during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Rockets 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Injury Bug

The early season injury bug has made its way around the Rockets’ locker room. With a back-to-back coming up, both Chandler Parsons and James Harden are unsure if they’re able to play in both games. Parsons has been dealing with back spasms, and playing 50 minutes in Monday’s double-overtime win over the Toronto Raptors didn’t help that cause. Harden, on the other hand, has been battling with sore feet. Francisco Garcia missed Monday’s game with the flu, while Omri Casspi has a strained knee. Terrence Jones, who played 32 minutes against the Raptors, may see extended minutes again.

New Starting Lineup?

Coach Kevin McHale said that he was, “50/50” on continuing to start both Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, as it has had it bright spots, but just is not clicking on the offensive side lately. The Sixers like to play small and run the floor(4th in the NBA in PACE). Thaddeus Young, who’s primarily played small forward in his career, has been inserted as the starting power forward, so there could be a huge matchup problem if Asik remained in the starting lineup. Don’t be surprised to see McHale go with either Jones or Parsons as the starting 4 Wednesday night.

Playing For 4 Quarters

The Rockets have let 2nd-half leads slip away in the past 3 games, due primarily to a lack of focus on defense, and lack of execution on offense. The Sixers will present a challenge have playmakers on their team in Evan Turner, who’s averaging 23 points and 6.3 rebounds so far, and stellar rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who’s putting up 17.4 points per game, along with 7.6 assists, and 5.4 rebounds. At a surprising 4-4 when many thought they were a team who would be ‘tanking’ the season, the Rockets trip to Philadelphia won’t be a small task at all.

Tip: 6:00 PM CST

TV: CSN Houston