The Rockets are in Madison Square Garden tonight as they look to get back on track vs. the Knicks.
The Houston Rockets (5-3) will play the New York Knicks (3-3) tonight for the first actual game against them without Carmelo Anthony. The Rockets famously attempted to acquire Melo from the Knicks this offseason, but ultimately lost out to the Thunder.
The two met in the preseason with Houston coming out victorious 117-95. In that game, the Beard dropped 36 points and 11 assists.
Last game for the Rockets, they lost at home to the Philadelphia 76ers. Their shooting woes continued as they shot a poor percentage from behind 3-point line.
For the Knicks, they have been hot recently, collecting all their wins on this 3-game streak. That includes wins vs. the Cavs, Nuggets & Nets.
Chris Paul remains out for the Rockets.
Nene Hilario has been struggling with an Achilles injury but should be good to go tonight.
For the Knicks, Ron Baker has a hurt ankle.
Projected Starting 5
Tidbit: The last time James Harden played the Knicks in the regular season, he had one of the best games of all time, dropping 53 points, 16 rebounds & 17 assists.
Tidbit: Kristaps Porzingis is playing at an extremely high level this season. On the year, he is averaging 29 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Keys to Victory
Get the pace up
The Rockets have been a below average team as far as pace goes. For a team that prides themselves on a quick offensive attack, that is unacceptable. Look for the Rockets to push the pace on a poor defensive Knicks team.
Kristaps Porzingis has been key to the victories of the Knicks this season. He dropped a career-high 38 points in a rout of the Nuggets a couple of nights ago. The Rockets will need to contain him if they want to win this game tonight.
The bench without Eric Gordon on it has been rough for the Rockets. They need to step it up tonight and provide some offense. P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute especially need to hit their shots from deep.