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Game Day: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks 10.28.16

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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NBA: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers
NBA: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers

The Houston Rockets seek to get into the win column after an abysmal defensive effort in the season opener.

Losing the season opener wasn’t how the Houston Rockets envisioned starting the season, especially against a team who won 17 games last year.  Tonight they’ll get a second shot facing much stiffer competition in the Dallas Mavericks.

Both teams are seeking their first win of the season, but enter following two very different opening contests. Dallas pushed the Pacers into overtime before succumbing for their loss. Suffice to say they’ll be amped to capture the victory.  Oddly these two teams play most of their 4 games early this season. This weekend features the home and home series and by the end of December the Southwest Division rivals will have completed their meetings for the season.

Entering the contest many fans are already speculating if James Harden is going to blow the assists per game total out of the water this season.  His 14 first half assists were brilliant, but he garnered just 3 in the second half.  It’s conceivable the Rockets as a whole are so excited about their offense they failed to remain calm enough to play consistently. SCS offers some suggestions in the game day countdown to counter having a repeat of the season opener.

With that let’s dive in to the Houston Rockets Game Day Countdown….

Next: Mavericks Off Season Moves

Oct 19, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) looks to drives to the basket as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) looks to drives to the basket as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 19, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) looks to drives to the basket as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A,

Round 2: A.J. Hammons (46)

Incoming:

Exiting: 

Re-upping:

Next: Starting Line-ups

Oct 21, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) guards Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Rockets Starting 5:

(stats from 2015-16)

Point Guard:  James Harden – 29 points, 7.5  assists, 6.1 rebounds, 2016 SCS Harden preview

Shooting Guard:  Eric Gordon – 15.2 points, 2.7  assists, 2.2 rebounds Media Day

Small ForwardTrevor Ariza – 12.7 points,  2.3 assists,  4.5  rebounds, 2016 SCS Ariza preview

Power Forward: Ryan Anderson – 17.0 points  1.1 assists, 6.0 rebounds  Anderson Media Day

CenterClint Capela – 7.0 points, 0.6 assists, 6.4 rebounds,  2016 SCS Capela preview

Mavericks Starting 5:

(stats from 2015-16)

Point Guard: Deron Williams – 14.1 points, 5.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds

Shooting Guard: Wesley Matthews -12.5 points, 1.9 assists,  3.1 rebounds

Small Forward: Harrison Barnes – 11.7 points, 1.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds

Power Forward:  Dirk Nowitzki  – 18.3 pints, 1.8 assists,  6.5 rebounds

Center:  Andrew Bogut – 5.4 points, 2.3 assists,  7.0 rebounds

Next: The Benches

Houston Rockets Bench:

Guards:

  • Tyler Ennis –  2016 Ennis preview
  • Bobby Brown

    Rockets announce 15 man roster

    October 26, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) moves to the basket against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (30) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Wings:

    Bigs:

    Dallas Mavericks Bench:

    Guards: JJ Barea, Devin Harris, Seth Curry

    Wings:  Justin Anderson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Brussino

    Bigs: Salahj Mejri, Dwight Powell, Quincy Acy, AJ Hammons

    Next: Game Particulars

    Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) guards Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
    Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) guards Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) guards Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Walking Wounded:

    Rockets:

    Patrick Beverley – knee, is sideline for 3 weeks minimum and will be re-evaluated following

    Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) fouls Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeat the Rockets 88-86. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    his Monday arthroscopic procedure. (targeting early December)

    Mavericks:

    • Devin Harris – toe, Harris is in a walking boot with a sprained right big toe and expected to be out for 3 weeks.

    All injury reports as per rotoworld

    Venue:

    Friday October 28th at American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX at 8:30 PM EST

    Radio and Television Providers:

    In Houston and Area: Root Sports

    In Dallas and Area: Fox Sports Southwest

    Worldwide: NBA League Pass

    Radio: 790 AM

    Game Time: 7:30 PM CT and 8:30 PM EST

    Next: Keys to win

    Oct 19, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (left) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Keys to Rockets Winning:

    Defense:

    If the loss in Los Angeles didn’t wake up the Rockets than I’m not sure what will. Oddly the Rockets played solid defensively in the preseason, so it’s hard to understand how they stopped in L.A.  Perhaps Houston just played down to their competition. Obviously they can’t afford to produce another lack luster effort versus a team like Dallas.

    Benches: 

    In both the Rockets and Mavericks games their starting units did most of the damage. Mavericks starters 85 of their 121 points with JJ Barea scoring 22 of the Mav’s 36 bench points. Rockets starters accounted for 88 of their 114 points. Mike D’Antoni should look at starting K.J. McDaniels to offer better defense to start the game and afford Erick Gordon the opportunity to excel facing the Mavericks bench unit.

    More from Space City Scoop

    Consistency Through 4 quarters:

    Okay, so it’s not like the Mavericks have copious youngsters like the Lakers do. That said, they do feature Harrison Barnes, Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell to name a few. My point is the Rockets played one way for 3 quarters and then shifted back to old habits in the final frame.

    As much as D’Antoni’s offense offers multiple options the issue seemed to be player movement.  Sure the ball was moving, but the only guy moving on the court was Harden. That can’t happen again unless D’Antoni decides to play him fewer minutes since it was obvious he was gassed in the fourth quarter.

    D’Antoni should utilize his roster’s depth by utilizing McDaniels, Sam Dekker, Kyle Wiltjer, Tyler Ennis and Montrezl Harrell. Dallas can’t match the Rockets depth, so why not wear them out with the Rockets youngsters.

    Team Previews:

    Get a full breakdown of both teams via these links:

    Next: Dallas Mavericks 2016-17 Team Preview

    Next: Houston Rockets 2016-17 Team Preview

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