Houston Rockets vs Boston Celtics Preview

By Michael Ma

Keys to the game for the Houston Rockets as they take on the Boston Celtics(4-7) at Toyota Center.

Dec 14, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Courtney Lee (11) drives to the basket against the Houston Rockets in the first quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Back-up Center Production

Omer Asik returned to the team on Monday and practiced, but it’s still unclear whether or not he will play Tuesday night. In his absence, both Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas have filled in very well. The Celtics have some skilled big men in rookies Vitor Faverani and Kelly Olynk, Jared Sullinger, and even Kris Humphries, so the battles down low will be something to watch for.

An Emphasis on Defense

This should be a measure as to how well the Rockets can play defensively. With Rajon Rondo still injured, the Celtics are 23rd in the NBA in points per game, at 94.2, while their leading scorer, Jeff Green, averages 15.5 points. The Rockets have 4 players who average more than that.

Getting The Big Man Involved

Dwight Howard did score 25 points in Saturday’s win over the Denver Nuggets, after a 7 point outing against the New York Knicks last Thursday. He’s racked up a total of 11 field goal attempts in the last 2 games, although he has spent a large amount of time at the free throw line. With one of the better on-ball defenders in the NBA in Avery Bradley defending James Harden, Howard may get plenty of touches in the low post.

Tip: 7:00 PM CST

TV: CSN Houston