Jan 18, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) takes the ball to the basket as Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) defends during the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Rockets beat the Bucks handily at home, but now head to Milwaukee to face off against the “Greek Freak” on his home turf
In their previous contest the Houston Rockets had trouble trying to contain Giannis Antetokounmpo and his freakish athleticism. The Freak finished with a double-double and put up 32 points (1 triple), 11 boards, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks. He is a special player and is a nightmare of a match up. Actually, the Bucks being one of the taller teams in the NBA, present match up problems across the board. But, this has not translated into wins for this young team. Milwaukee heads into tonight’s game riding a five game losing streak.
The Rockets on the other hand are coming off of an impressive victory in Memphis. This win was important because they had yet to beat the Grizzlies this season. And, this was after a disaster of a game against Golden State. However, this season’s Rockets have shown a sense of resiliency that was missing from the previous teams. This particular group of Rockets are playing with a chip on their shoulder and are out to prove something this year.
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Now for tonight’s contest the Rockets line up should be back to the same that went 15-2 in December. Ryno and Capela are expected to start, but the amount of minutes each play will depend on their effectiveness. Against the Warriors, Ryno played some struggle minutes and was still very much limited due to the flu. Sam Dekker started in his place against Memphis and went off for a career high 30 points (6 triples), 4 boards, and 2 steals. The choice to play Dekker over Brewer in the starting line up was rewarded with a win. Meanwhile, Capela is rounding back to form and as his conditioning improves his minutes will increase.
The Bucks also expect to have their normal starting line up back after benching Jabari Parker on Saturday. Due to the team’s recent losses there was a private meeting held, in which afterwards Parker discussed the specifics to the media. According to the Bucks, this violated team policy. Though Parker’s benching was only for one quarter, the Bucks felt this punishment was necessary for breaking the team’s locker room guidelines.
While I expect the Bucks to compete, this is a contest the Rockets should win and hopefully their hot shooting continues.
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Tip off will be at 7 CT and on RTSW