Mar 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons (25) speaks to his team during the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets

After having their five-game winning streak come to an end, the Houston Rockets now travel to Brooklyn to start up a new one. Every game down the stretch is important. The Rockets need to come in to Brooklyn and take care of business vs. the Nets. The Nets have been making noise as of late, and should be taken seriously. The Rockets are 1-0 against the Nets this season, cruising to a 19-point victory earlier this season. The game can be seen on TNT, and is scheduled to start at 7pm CST.

Matchups

Point Guard – Jeremy Lin vs. Deron Williams

While Patrick Beverley remains out, it’s Jeremy Lin‘s time to shine. Sadly, I don’t see it happening. Inconsistency continues to be a factor of his game. Whether it’s turnovers, poor shooting, or not very good defense, he is still struggling. On the other side, the Nets have Deron Williams. Earlier on in the season, Williams had been dealing with injuries that really hurt this team. Now that he is healthy, he can be explosive. Without Beverley tonight, expect Deron Williams to go off. Don’t expect Lin to come out of his “slump”.  We can all hope he does, but I don’t see it happening.

Edge – Nets

 

Shooting Guard – James Harden vs. Shaun Livingston

Who else is having a better stretch of games as of late than James Harden? Harden has definitely been playing well as of late, and should be coming into this game with the “hot hand”. James should get a lot of touches, and if he heats up, the Nets could face some serious consequences. For the Nets, they have a guard by the name of Shaun Livingston. Although Livingston’s career has been “plagued” by injuries, he still shows potential and can play the game. Although he is usually a point guard, the Brooklyn Nets have been using him alongside Deron Williams to provide a unique backcourt that works well. Shaun Livingston can shoot and play decent defense, but there is no comparison between him and Harden. Livingston could only hope that Harden doesn’t go off.

Edge – Rockets

 

Small Forward – Chandler Parsons vs. Joe Johnson

Two spectacular shooters that can definitely make an impact. As of late, Chandler Parsons has been struggling to put the ball in the basket from a distance. Against the Clippers on Saturday night, Parsons began to “slash” to the rim and get easy looks. If the Nets are going to let him get that close, they could be in for a long night. Joe Johnson however, is mostly always on target. Whether its the 3 ball or the pull-up jumper, he can always find a way to get the ball in the basket. Since the Rockets need scoring, Chandler Parsons is going to play a huge role in this game. Both players will have a good game, but it is critical that Parsons has a great game.

Edge: Rockets

 

Power Forward – Terrence Jones vs. Paul Pierce

Terrence Jones has had one spectacular season, while Paul Pierce has been in a slump for some time. Since Pierce is going to guard Jones, Terrence should just keep taking it right to the rim. Pierce is a decent defender, but Jones has the potential to have a big game. Against the Clippers, Terrence Jones was almost nonexistent. He should get the ball down low, and go to work if he plays (GTD). Pierce on the other hand, is very unpredictable. Coming off of an impressive night vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves, he looks to be breaking out of his slump. If he heats up, the Nets will be in pretty good shape. With Pierce sometimes settling around the perimeter, Jones has to come out and guard him. Expect Pierce to have a big game. We can only hope that he is “out of sync”.

Edge -  Nets

 

Center – Omer Asik vs. Mason Plumlee

With Dwight Howard still out, Omer Asik is called on once again. Tonight, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Although Mason Plumlee doesn’t have the size as Asik, he can still be able to get into the paint and score. With Asik controlling the paint, I don’t see any production coming from Plumlee. As long as Asik is there, nobody will have an easy look in the paint.

Edge – Rockets

 

Bench

Houston Rockets – Donatas Motiejunas, Omri Casspi, Isaiah Canaan, Francisco Garcia, and Jordan Hamilton

Brooklyn Nets – Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson, Andray Blatche, Jason Collins, Marquis Teague, Jorge Gutierrez, and Marcus Thornton

Edge – Nets

Injuries

Houston Rockets – Patrick Beverley (OUT) Dwight Howard (OUT) Greg Smith (OUT), Terrence Jones (GTD)

Brooklyn Nets – Andrei Kirlenko (OUT) Brook Lopez (OUT) Kevin Garnett (OUT), Marcus Thornton (QUES)

Prediction

This game will be very close. I expect the Houston Rockets to come into Brooklyn and take this one, 104-93.

Tags: Houston Rockets

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