Houston Rockets vs New York Knicks Preview

By Michael Ma

November 23, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) attempts to drive the ball past Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons (25) during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets host another sub-500 team Friday night when the New York Knicks(10-21) come to Toyota Center. Here are the keys to the game.

Injury Update

Greg Smith will suit up and be available to play for the first time since suffering an injury on Nov. 14 against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Smith’s presence will help solidify some much needed help at the backup center spot. Omer Asik is still unavailable, as is Patrick Beverley, who is still a few weeks away from returning.

Containing ‘Melo

Carmelo Anthony went for 45 points in the first meeting, and nearly helped the Knicks steal the game when he made a 3-pointer as a foul was being called. Fortunately for the Rockets, he shot was waived off, much to the dismay of the Garden crowd.

Andrea Bargnani also added 24 points and held Dwight Howard to just 7 points. Bargnani will only guard Howard at times this time around, as the Knicks have center Tyson Chandler back from injury.

Take Care Of Business

The Rockets’ latest disappointing loss came on New Year’s Eve, dropping at home to a 10-20 Sacramento Kings team. Effort and motivation against teams under the .500 mark has been a huge problem all season, and as 2014 officially begins, the Rockets look to turn that around.

Tip: 7 PM CT

TV: CSN Houston, NBA TV