Houston Rockets vs Orlando Magic Preview

By Michael Ma

Oct 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley (2) defends against Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson (14) during the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Keys for the Houston Rockets against the Orlando Magic Sunday night.

Taking Care Of Business

In the a tough western conference, every game against a team under the .500 mark almost becomes a must-win game. While coming off a ‘statement’ win against the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets were upset in the two previous games, losing to the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns. Against a 6-13 Magic team, the Rockets must play with the same type of intensity on both ends of the floor.

The Magic have capable scorers in their backcourt. Victor Olidipo has been among the leagues’ top rookies, averaging 14.1 points and 4.6 rebounds. Guard Aaron Afflalo is averaging a career high 22.4 points, and is coming off a 43 point outing against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night.

Show The Depth

The Rockets are still hampered by injuries, with Chandler Parsons listed as a game-time decision once again. Without the services of Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, or Greg Smith, it gives the Rockets another opportunity to find out how deep their bench really is.

The player to keep an eye on is Donatas Motiejunas, who scored 9 points in 13 minutes as the backup center to Dwight Howard.

Time For Superman To Get Back On Track

Howard’s averages of 16.8 points and 12.8 rebounds are his lowest mark since his 2nd season in the NBA. While he did record 22 points and 18 rebounds against the Warriors, the Rockets must look to establish him in the low post against a banged up Magic frontcourt. Center Nikola Vucevic(who essentially replaced Howard in Orlando last season) has a sprained right ankle and is questionable, while Glen Davis, Andrew Nicholson, and Maurice Harkless will all take their chances to matchup against Howard.

Side Note: Howard averaged 30 points and 15.5 rebounds in 2 games against the Magic last season.

Tip: 6 PM 

TV: CSN Houston