Rockets News

Houston Rockets Game Day: Can Rockets Find Magic in Fifth Straight Win

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Houston Rockets Game Day:

The Rockets took care of business their last game out continuing their winning streak and extending it to four. Despite the head butt administered by Kevin Garnett the game was won relatively easily. Tonight they look to make it five straight as they face an Orlando team who are often underestimated. In their most recent game they outplayed Chicago shocking them in an upset win. The Magic are a young team with a lot of very talented players who appear to be one year and maybe one vet away from becoming a playoff team (at least in the East).

Team Rank:

Houston currently rank third in the West and first in the Southwest Division with a 27-11 record.

Orlando are last in the Southeast Division  with a 14-27 record.

Offense: Houston: 18th (102.6 points per 100 possessions) – Orlando: 29th (98.4 points per 100 possessions)

Defense:  Houston: 2nd (allowing 98.0 points per 100 possessions) – Orlando: 2oth (allowing 104.1 points per 100 possessions)

Net: Houston: 8th with a positive point differential of +4.6 – Orlando: 26th with a negative point differential of -5.7

Pace: Houston: 7th with a pace of 97.80 possessions over 48 minutes – Orlando: 23rd with a pace of 95.0 possessions over 48 minutes

Points Per Game: Houston: 14th  –  Orlando: 27th

Rebounds Per Game: Houston: 9th – Orlando: 28th

Assists Per Game:  Houston: 23rd – Orlando: 24th

Opposition Points Per game: Houston: 3rd –  Orlando: 16th

Stats via nba.com

Notable Stats:

Three Point Advantage:

  • As per usual Houston has a real advantage from behind the arc,
  • Orlando just beat the Bulls on the road in Chicago and are not a team to sleep on

Bench:

Houston’s bench continue to improve their bench statistics with their new additions and will have a true advantage over Orlando. While the Rocket’s  bench have been improving in the last 10 games the Magic have been slipping in production and efficiency. See full bench stats at hoopsstats.com

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Key Match-up:

Dwight Howard vs Nikola Vucevic

While not a key match-up keep your eyes on Elfird Payton and Victor Oladipo who will become the Magic back court of the future. They are raw and talented and exciting to watch.  Oladipo is more of a scorer who was moved to the shooting guard position with the drafting of Payton who is a pass first point guard with length and in my opinion a big upside.

Walking Wounded:

  • Evan Fournier is day to day with a knee injury
  • Tobias Harris is day to day with an ankle injury
  • Aaron Gordon is out til February with a foot injury

Houston:

  • Terrence Jones remains out due to nerve damage in his leg

Keys To Winning:

  • Control the front court especially Vucevic
  • Cut off the passing lanes for Oladipo, make him work for everything
  • Load the paint to take away driving options and force Magic into a field goal shooting team
  • Take advantage of all the categories that Houston performs better in like rebounding, pace, scoring etc, in other words don’t beat yourself

The Pick:

The odds makers have the Rockets continuing their winning streak selecting them to beat Orlando by 9 points.  Orlando surprised many by defeating Chicago and could be riding the wave of confidence, but I think Houston’s interior size and outside fire power will prove too much for them to overcome. Unlike Brooklyn this Magic team don’t give up on any games, so I’ll take Houston by 5.

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