Houston Rockets Game Day: We The North Awaits

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Mar 24, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) dribbles the ball as Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) defends during the first quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Leaders

Raptors:

  • DeMar DeRozan 19.1 points per game
  • Jonas Valanciunas 8.7 rebounds per game
  • Kyle Lowry 6.9 assists per game
  • Jonas Valanciunas1.2 blocks per game
  • Kyle Lowry 1.5 steals per game

Rockets:

  • James Harden 27.2 points per game
  • Dwight Howard 10.6 rebounds per game
  • James Harden 7.0 assists per game
  • Terrence Jones 1.6 blocks per game
  • James Harden 1.9 steals per game

Keys To Winning:

  • TURN OVERS: Toronto are the third best team in the Association at taking care of the ball and will make you pay when you turn it over so protecting the rock is key.
  • THE BIG VALLEY: Without a plethora of bigs available Houston may have their hands full against the likes of Jonas Valanciunas who is adept offensively and they’ll also trot out Patterson who is due for a big game versus his former club and can spread the floor. In addition they have undersized Tyler Hansbrough who will bring the effort to match Dorsey and Amir Johnson who is the heart and soul of the Raptors and has raised his game in the absence of Lowry.
  • PACE: The Rockets have the second ranked pace in the league and without their pitbull point guard Lowry available the Raptors will rely on slow footed Vasquez to push the pace in an effort to wear down the legs of the Rockets on their back-to-back knowing they are under manned.
  • PICK YOUR POISON: There are several players who can score on this Raptor squad both in the starting five and the bench. With a depleted roster it will require a yeoman’s effort from Houston or they’ll have to hope Toronto has one of those quarters where they lose focus. Given the media pressure in the TDot surrounding this issue I don’t anticipate they’ll have a full quarter melt down though, so Houston needs to be on their game.

Next: And the magic eight ball predicts...

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