Game Day: Atlanta Hawks versus Houston Rockets
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Game Time: 8:00 PM EST – 7:00 PM CT
TV: ROOT and FOX Sports Southeast
Radio: 790 AM and 92.9 FM “The Game”
Last season the Hawks swept the Rockets though you’ll get an argument from many Rockets fans regarding how many calls the zebras gave Atlanta in Houston being the reason for the result. It was one of the worst officiated games of last season. Pero Antic was allowed to do things in the game the officials didn’t typically allow him (which is probably why he’s no longer playing in the NBA).
- March 3, HOU 96 – 104 ATL
- December 20, ATL 104 – 97 HOU
- Tiago Splitter leg, out until January 3
Though I could highlight the front courts of both teams as they both offer solid All-Star worthy players the reality is this game will come down to the benches. In wins this season the Hawks’ reserves have played a huge role in the victories. Notably though the Hawks moved Kent Bazemore to the starting line-up which is helping the top line, but may be hurting the bench in his absence.
Keys to Winning:
- Run Atlanta off the 3-point line
- Don’t look for Trevor Ariza to score huge points tonight, he’ll be tired from all the screens he’ll be running through just to stop Korver from getting his 3-point shots off. Especially after Korver went 0-8 from behind the arc last night. Those type of off nights don’t occur often.
- With Splitter out the Rockets size should offer a massive advantage in the paint.
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The odds makers have made the Rockets a 3 point favorite with an over-under of 208 points and 66% of the current action on Houston. Obviously the people setting the odds have given in to the up and down nature of the Rockets where they win the tough games and lose the easier ones.
To be honest, I’m not as convinced because the Hawks arrive having played last night so they’ll be ripe for the picking which tends to be the games the Rockets lose.
With the Golden State Warriors on the horizon and a rematch with the Spurs who’ll be looking to get revenge on their unbeaten floor Saturday this game becomes a must win for the Rockets.
Including today the next 10 games feature the Hawks, Warriors, Spurs (again), Jazz x 2, Pacers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and the Cavaliers.
Prediction: Rockets by 3
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