Jan 18, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones (left) takes a shot over Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders (8) during the second half at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 114-104. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks


The Rockets look to continue their charge up the Western Conference standings as they travel to Milwaukee to face the wounded Bucks.

The Bucks are having a tough season. They seem to have some nice pieces but when put together they play more like a 1st grade art project than Picasso’s Starry Night. They are dealing with a number of injuries, including former Rockets’ sharpshooter Carlos Delfino, whom I miss VERY much. I don’t miss him playing power forward but this team could use him none the less. The Bucks are coming off a loss to the Nuggets on Wednesday and it seems that it was an especially costly affair since both Luke Ridnour and Ersan Ilyasova are both now questionable for tonight’s game.

AND (drum role please) the aloof and mysterious Omer Asik is technically available to play tonight! He has been practicing with the team and McHale says he will play it by ear with Omer depending on how he looks in shoot around and what not.

TO THE PREVIEW!

The Matchups

Point Guard

Patrick Beverley vs. Brandon Knight

I like Brandon Knight a lot. He is high energy and very athletic. He also feels no shame. He had the guts to try to block DeAndre Jordan‘s massive slam last year and he ended up on one of biggest posters of the decade. But I respect the hell out of the fact that he tried. He had a big game against us last time and I expect something similar.

Advantage: Bucks

 

Shooting Guard

James Harden vs. Nate Wolters

Wolters started last game because OJ Mayo was sick and OJ is still a game time decision. Either way the Rockets have the advantage. Mayo can be dangerous but Wolters is really just another body on the court.

Advantage: Rockets

 

Small Forward

Chandler Parsons vs. Khris Middleton

Battle of the young tall lanky forwards. Chandler is obviously much further along in his development but don’t sleep on Middleton. He has all the tools to be a starting caliber small forward but has yet to put it all together. He has random outbursts of scoring because when he has his shot going, he has the length to get the shot he wants. Chandler is much better at creating easy shots for himself and overall is still just a better version of Middleton.

Advantage: Rockets

 

Power Forward

Terrence Jones vs. Ersan Ilyasova or Giannis Antetokounmpo

TJ had the best game of his career last time we faced the Bucks. Ersan is a gametime decision but either way the Bucks are in trouble because TJ will take what is rightfully his underneath the basket.

Advantage: Rockets

 

Center

Dwight Howard vs. Larry Sanders

The Bucks website is apparently as dysfunctional as the team because it says Sanders is out for tonight’s game but literally no one else is saying that. Sanders is a rim protector but doesn’t have the mass to keep Dwight from getting the shots he wants. Dwight won’t have it as easy as usual but there isn’t much to be concerned about.

Advantage: Rockets

 

Bench

Rockets: Jeremy Lin, Aaron Brooks, Omri Casspi, Francisco Garcia, Omer Asik?, Donatas Montiejunas

Bucks: John Henson, Zaza Pachulia, Luke Ridnour, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gary Neal

Advantage: Rockets

Injuries

Rockets: Greg Smith (Out)

Bucks: Carlos Delfino (OUT), Caron Butler (OUT), Ekpe Udoh (GTD), OJ Mayo (GTD)

 

Prediction: Rockets have too much talent, and cruise to a 118-105 win.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Houston Rockets