Game Day Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings

Dec 5, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore (23) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) compete for a rebound in the second half at Toyota Center. Rockets won 120-111. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore (23) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) compete for a rebound in the second half at Toyota Center. Rockets won 120-111. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s game 82 of the 2015-16 season and the Houston Rockets can be the masters of their own destiny.

Simply put a win over a severely undermanned Sacramento Kings team will solidify their entry into the post season.

Red Nation is anxiously awaiting the result with some die hards praying for a win which would result in the pleasure of facing the best team in the NBA.  Yes, the same team who won the Championship last season. The same Golden State Warrior squad who’ve headlined copious stories this season for their miraculous run and who’ll be aiming to etch a new regular season win standard this evening.

There are some in H-Town who would rather the Rockets weren’t even bothering to grab that eight seed given it’s a likely only going to postpone an inevitable quick exit in 4 or 5 games. The cost of earning that final berth in the West also comes at a steep price as the Rockets would then forfeit their draft pick traded to Denver for Ty Lawson who isn’t even on the team anymore.

Regardless of which camp you fall into tonight’s game has one common denominator as it will mercifully end a season of inconsistent play and frustration of the Clutch City fan base. Guaranteed off season changes will be multiple and could stretch high into the upper management offices as well as rip through the roster.

Until then the Rockets will try to squeeze out something positive to end the year with a win this evening.

That said, let’s take a look at tonight’s game versus the Sacramento Kings:

Game Day: Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings

After suffering a season sweep to the Denver freaking Nuggets the Houston Rockets will look to quickly turn things around against the Sacramento Kings.

This will be Houston’s third game in four nights while Sacramento is coming off 4 days of rest.

The Details

Venue: Toyota Center, Houston

Game Time: 8:00 PM EST – 7:00 PM CT


Radio: 790 AM and KHTK Sports 1140 AM

Recent Meetings:

Walking Wounded:



Projected Starters:

Kings:  Seth Curry, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay,   Willie Caulie Stein  Kosta Koufos

RocketsPatrick Beverley,  James Harden  Trevor Ariza,  Donatas Motiejunas,  Dwight Howard

Key Reserves: 

Reserves: Caron Butler Quincy Acy,   James Anderson

Rockets: Corey BrewerClint Capela, Jason TerryMichael BeasleyK.J. McDaniels


Rockets vs Kings
Rockets vs Kings /

With the majority of the Kings core expected not to play that removes many of their key contributors and thus erases most of their advantages. For example without Rondo an and Collison the assists totals will drop and without Cousins the points and rebounds drop off.

Keys to Winning:

FOCUS: There is zero room for gaffes like what occurred versus the Suns. The Rockets need to be dialed in from the tip in terms of focus and energy.

LIMIT RUDY GAY:   Although the key contributors are out Gay is still capable of having a big night, so Bickerstaff will need to game plan accordingly. Not known as someone who wants to be bodied much playing him aggressively from the onset will help.

CREATE YOUR OWN DESTINY: The Rockets have fluctuated all season from playing solid games, to disappearing in games that should be automatic wins. They have an opportunity tonight to control their own fate and need to seize the moment. Relying on the Jazz to lose is frankly unacceptable.

More from Space City Scoop

The Pick:

The odds makers sure have changed their tune regarding the home town Rockets who are favored by a whopping 15 points. Then again the over/under of 222.5 points with the Kings missing Cousins, Collison, Rondo, Caspi and Belinelli seems to suggest they don’t expect much defense. Early action is heavily favoring the Kings to cover.

Given what’s at stake I’ll actually take the Rockets to not only win but cover the spread.

For more exciting news and stories on the Sacramento Kings visit our affiliate FanSided site: A Royal Pain

Next: Kings Team Preview: Royal Turmoil

Next: Bracket Update and Predictions

Next: Rockets and Raptors Reversal of Fortune

Next: Bickerstaff's Puzzling Rotations

Next: 5 Players Rockets Should Target

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