In their final meeting this season the Houston Rockets face the top ranked Southwest Division San Antonio Spurs with views of trying to steal another victory.
Let’s take a look at how the two teams match up:
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston Texas
Game Time: 8:00 PM EST – 7:00 PM CT
TV: ESPN National TV, ROOT and KENS HD
Radio: 790 AM and WOAI 1200AM
- Jan 27 SAS 130 – 99 HOU
- Jan 2 HOU 103-121 SAS
- Dec 25 SAS 84 – 88 HOU
- Apr 10 SAS 104 – 103 HOU
- Apr 9 HOU 98-110 SAS
- Manu Ginobili– targeting mid March
- Matt Bonner – calf, game time decision
- Clint Capela – ankle, game time decision
- Donatas Motiejunas – targeting return tonight
- Sam Dekker – remains out recovering from back procedure and listed on CBS Sports as out until Mar 1 minimum
Keys to Winning:
- Get off to a strong start: Don’t let the Spurs bury you early, therefore it’s important Houston keep San Antonio within range for the first quarter.
- Take advantage of your few better ranked assets: Two areas the Rockets are obviously stronger than the Spurs is their ability to force turnovers (though the Spurs don’t cough the ball up much despite what happened in Golden State) for steals and offensive rebounding. The Rockets need to take advantage of these areas.
- Win the paint: The Spurs post arguably the strongest (and wisest) front court in the Association, but if the Rockets are to compete they’ll need to take advantage of their youthful, versatile bigs including Howard, Smith, Ariza and Jones to offset the strength of San Antonio.
- Win the rebound battle: As noted the Rockets hold an advantage on the offensive boards so they’ll need to utilize that to create second chance scoring opportunities and work to make their defensive rebounding as strong to create points in transition. Of note, the Spurs choose to not get offensive rebounds in favor or stopping the opposition in transition. Based on their league leading defense I wonder how many teams will follow shortly given the nature of the NBA to be a copy cat league.
- Play it a possession at a time: As much as it’s unlikely the Rockets can win this game with all the factors against them they need to focus on their defense and literally take this one possession at a time.
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The odds makers have the Spurs favored by a 5.5 points and it’s hard to argue that spread given their record. The over – under is 213.0 points which feels a little high, but perhaps they expect the Spurs to not lock down defensively until the 4th. Majority action is heavily on the Spurs.
Prediction: Spurs by 10
For more exciting news and stories on the San Antonio Spurs visit our affiliate FanSided site: Air Alamo
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