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What to watch for in the Rockets at Clippers game tonight

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 15: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets drives past Tobias Harris #34 of the LA Clippers at Toyota Center on March 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 15: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets drives past Tobias Harris #34 of the LA Clippers at Toyota Center on March 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets will be playing in the Staples Center for the second night in a row, this time against the other team in Los Angeles, the Clippers.

The Houston Rockets are at their first back-to-back of the year and it’s an unusual one. They played the Lakers last night in a contentious win and are back at it tonight against the Clippers in the same arena. Will there be more lockerroom shenanigans tonight like there were in the first matchup at the Clips last year?

They will play a Clippers team that has started the year 1-1, just like the Rockets. They had a nice win against the Westbrook-less Thunder on Friday and lost to the Nuggets in their opener on Wednesday.

The two teams will face off at 8:00 tonight, so thankfully, no late night game this time around like last night. The game will be on AT&T SportsNet for the local viewers and NBA TV for those who are out of town.

Let’s look at the projected starters for the two teams:

Starting 5s

Rockets

James Harden/Eric Gordon/James Ennis/P.J. Tucker/Clint Capela

Clippers

Patrick Beverley/Avery Bradley/Danilo Gallinari/Tobias Harris/Marcin Gortat

What to watch for

While the Clippers might not have one player in particular that stands out above the rest (Lou Williams is the closest option there), they play very well together and run a very solid 9-10 man rotation. They have a very deep bench that the Rockets will have to play well against to win tonight.

Speaking of the bench, it’ll be missing a piece tonight likely. Though there is no official word yet (4:00 p.m.), it is expected that Chris Paul will be suspended for throwing punches in last night’s game. Eric Gordon will step up and likely start in his place, making the bench a little weaker. Gerald Green will need to have another great game.

Carmelo Anthony will look to shake off his below average offensive games to begin the year. He hasn’t shot the ball well but is still playing solid minutes, generally being a plus off the bench.

Patrick Beverley will be playing his first game against his former team after being traded for Chris Paul before last season. He was hurt in all the games for the Clippers last year against the Rockets.

Clint Capela will have another favorable matchup against Marcin Gortat, but we’ll see if the Rockets elect to use a backup center against the likes of Boban Marjonovich, who is off to a great start for the Clippers in their second unit. At 7’3, P.J. Tucker/Carmelo Anthony likely won’t be able to guard him very well.

The positives and negatives of the game against the Lakers. Next

With it being under four hours until game time, I’m starting to wonder whether CP3 will end up getting suspended or not for this game. It’ll be tough for him to avoid missing some games altogether, but the NBA official investigation is still ongoing. We’ll be sure to update you guys on our Twitter page, so follow us @SpaceCity_Scoop!

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