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Game Day: Houston Rockets Seek Revenge vs. New York Knicks

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Game Day: New York Knicks vs. Houston Rockets

After dropping four straight, the Rockets won a nail biter in Houston against the Philadelphia 76ers (as bad as that sounds) and will look to keep things rolling tonight against the revived Knicks. This will be the second meeting between the two with New York winning the first.

Last time out it was the rookie Kristaps Porzingis who stole the show posting a double double while altering every shot Houston took at the rim. Carmelo Anthony was out of rhythm early and noticeably played passive as the game progressed, something we’re not use to seeing from the offensive juggernaut.

Houston will look to seek revenge tonight in New York under Harden’s leadership as he’s been averaging 36.2 points per game over the last five ball games.

The Details

Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York

Game Time: 7:30 PM EST – 6:30 PM CT

TV: ROOT in Houston

Radio: 790 AM and ESPN NY 98.7

Recent History:

  • Nov 21 NYK 107 – 102 HOU
  • Jan 8 HOU 120 – 96 NYK
  • Nov 24 NYK  86-91  HOU

Walking Wounded:

Knicks:

  • No injuries

Rockets:

  • Sam Dekker – back, will be out 3 months
  • Donatas Motiejunas – still recovering from off season back surgery, no update on scheduled return date

Projected Starters:

Knicks: Jose CalderonArron Afflalo,   Kristaps Porzingis   Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez

Rockets: Jason Terry, James HardenTrevor Ariza, Dwight Howard Clint Capela

Key Match-ups:

The match up to watch here is between Clint Capela and Kristaps Porzingis. Last time out, Porzingis had his way with Houston’s front court in a variety of ways. Sprinting lengths of the court for easy transition buckets, stretching the floor out from deep and grabbing 14 rebounds. Will the line up switch of Capela and Howard starting limit Porzingis’s productivity?

Reserves:

Knicks: Derrick Williams, Cleanthony Early,   Kevin Seraphin, Langston Galloway

Rockets: Marcus Thornton, Corey BrewerTy Lawson

Keys To Winning:

Defensive Intensity: Houston has only kept one opponent under 100 all season (Memphis – 96). When will we see a full 48 minutes of all out defensive effort?

Limit Second Chance Opportunities: New York is one of the top offensive rebounding teams in the league thanks to their active front court of Lopez, Melo and Porzingis. Houston must keep the Knicks off the glass.

More from Space City Scoop

Capitalize On Transition Opportunities: Houston has had a lot of wasted fast break opportunities in this early season. With the Knicks bigs focusing on crashing the boards, this will open up more transition opportunities.

Pride: At this point it comes down to realizing that Houston basketball is not losing basketball. The Rockets are a team with high expectations and deservingly so, when was the last time the Knicks swept Houston 2-0 in the regular season? 12 years ago.

Prediction:

The odds makers have Houston favored to win by 1.5 points with an over/under of 199.5 points. For some odd reason Houston continues to get love from the odd makers being favored in 9 of their last 10 games. The Knicks have played well so far to earn the right of being favored at home against an under performing team.

Though the line confuses me, the line up change of Capela and Howard is a move that I feel will pay dividends in terms of jump starting Houston’s defense early in the games.

Houston 103, New York 99

For more exciting news and stories on the New York Knicks visit our affiliate Fansided site: Daily Knicks

And check our our newest installment of NBA Sideline Chirps

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Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.

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