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NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks – Lineup Preview and Analysis

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Nov 22, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) and forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the first quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks – Lineup Preview and Analysis

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Houston Rockets swam through a sea of injuries, lineup changes and Charles Barkley insults (mostly directed to general manager Darly Morey) to clinch a playoff birth as the second seed and division champs. After an exhausting 82 games, they now narrow their sights to winning 16. Only 240 miles away from H-town lies their first roadblock: The Dallas Mavericks.

In the midst of roster revisions, Houston took care of their homecourt against Dallas in the regular season (2-0) and split their road series (1-1). Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo both were prisoners to their former teams for one of the games, Dwight Howard only clashed with Dallas once due to injuries and Patrick Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas won’t be available as they were for three games. Virtually, the 3-1 record Houston collected over Dallas means almost nothing.

Since Wednesday night, both teams have been approved a clean slate. The matchups from here on out are what’s important. I’ll break down what to look for and how the Houston Rockets playoff matchup will shake out in their first round Texas showdown.

*TOP STATS FROM 2014-15 REGULAR SEASON

Next: Defensive Anchors Collide

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