The Houston Rockets have fell out of playoff contention at the moment with Wednesday’s unfortunate 89-87 loss to the Utah Jazz, another team fighting to get in as well.
The Rockets seemed to have a grasp of the game itself but it was apparent that Jazz certainly wanted it more.
We can ask for the league the review plays occurring in the last few minutes of games but the fact of the matter is that the job should’ve been done to begin so there is no reliance on the refs.
But no sense in crying over spilled milk as that is now yesterday’s news and they’ll be facing 48-22 Toronto Raptors tonight.
They were able to beat a fully-staffed Raptors’ team on the road back March 6 — not an easy feat — in a 113-107 win so there should be no reason as why they can’t beat the short-handed team that we’ll likely see tonight as an opponent.
There have been some immensely strange things to happen to this team over the course of the season so we’ll definitely see.
So who’s leading the charge for the Raptors?
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DeMar DeRozan is the leading scorer (23.7 PPG). Kyle Lowry is the assist man (6.4 APG) and steals king (2.20 SPG). Jonas Valanciunas is the top board-getter (9.0 RPG) and Bismack Biyombo is the premier shot-blocker (1.70 BPG).
Let’s talk about what the Raptors do well.
They’re offensively potent. The Raptors are ranked 5th in offensive efficiency, putting up 106.8 points per 100 possessions. They’re also ranked 11th in defensive efficiency, allowing 102.5 points per 100 possessions.
They are rebounding beasts. The Raptors are 7th in the league in rebound rate, taking down a whopping 51.7 percent of missed shots.
They also take care of the basketball. The Raptors are 7th in the league as far as turnover ratio, with only 12.4 percent of their possessions ending in a turnover.
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There are really no injuries to report for the Houston Rockets, my best guess is that James Harden will be taken off the report as his production and feel seem to not been hampered by his foot injury or he may, in fact, be healed.
Jonas Valanciunas had been dealing with a hand injury for a spell but returned Wednesday to score 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes of action in the team’s 91-79 loss to the Boston Celtics. His status is likely PROBABLE for tonight.
Kyle Lowry was a late scratch in Wednesday’s match up with the Celtics with an elbow injury. His status will likely be QUESTIONABLE for tonight.
Patrick Patterson sustained a foot injury last Friday — also ironically against the Celtics — and did not return to that game. His X-Rays have come out negative so the injury may not be as serious as originally envisioned. He has missed two games so far and his status will likely be QUESTIONABLE for tonight.
Sources: Ryan Wolstadt of the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Raptors
Three Things to Watch:
- James Harden vs. DeMar DeRozan
- Dwight Howard vs. Jonas Valanciunas
- Will Kyle Lowry and/or Patrick Patterson be available tonight?
107-98 in a Rockets’ win!
The Rockets are at home to take on the Raptors at Toyota Center.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CDT.
The game will be televised on ROOT Sports Southwest and broadcast on SportsTalk 790 AM (KBME) and La Ranchera 850 AM (KEYH) in Spanish.