Houston Rockets vs Nets: 2017-18 Game 20: Five things to watch

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: Trevor Ariza
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: Trevor Ariza /

The Houston Rockets mosey along through their home stand to take on a 7-12 Brooklyn Nets team that’s struggling to find some offense.  Here are five things to watch ahead of tonight’s match up.

The 15-4 Houston Rockets will take on the lowly, 7-12 Brooklyn Nets who once again, after picking up some promising young talent, will likely finish the season at the bottom of the barrel.  It started with Jeremy Lin‘s injury, then D’Angelo Russell, now Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Allen Crabbe.

The injury bug is no stranger to this team as I think we’re going to win this game by default because of all of their talented scorers are dealing with some type of injury and the latter may not be available tonight.

This, of course, is far from marquee match up but one of an exhibition to see if any records are broken and the opportunity for some of the young guys to get some significant playing time when the Houston Rockets will likely have the game in the bag early.

1.) So who’s leading the charge for the Nets?

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the team’s top scorer (14.3 PPG), Trevor Booker on the boards (6.9 RPG), Spencer Dinwiddie with the dimes (6.1 APG), Caris LeVert in steals (1.3 SPG) and the Jarrett Allen (0.8 BPG).

2.) Let’s talk about what the Nets do well.

They’re committed to making few mistakes as a team.  The Nets are 5th in turnover ratio — tied with the Memphis Grizzlies — with 13.3 percent of their possessions ending in a turnover.

They’re all about ensuring that the basketball stays in their hands.  The Nets are 1st in PACE — tied with the Phoenix Suns — averaging 105.7 possessions per game.

3.) Injuries:

Nene Hilario is suffering from a strained shoulder and has been ruled OUT for tonight.

D’Angelo Russell injured his left knee a few weeks back and has since had arthroscopic surgery to repair it.  The Nets are being quite mum on a possible return and have not set an exact timetable, meaning that he’ll be out awhile.

Allen Crabbe sustained a back injury and was held out of last night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.  His status for tonight remains uncertain and I’d likely deem him as QUESTIONABLE.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sprained his right ankle against the Grizzlies last night and did not return to the game.  He too will have a status that’s up in the air and I’d likely deem as DOUBTFUL.

Source(s): Mark Berman of FOX26 (KRIV), Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Jack Maloney of CBS Sports and the Brooklyn Nets

4.) Matchups to Watch:

  1. Trevor Ariza vs. DeMarre Carroll
  2. Clint Capela vs. Timofey Mozgov
  3. Chris Paul vs. Spencer Dinwiddie

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5.) Prediction:

115-90 in a Houston Rockets’ win!

The Rockets are at home to take on the Nets at Toyota Center.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST.

The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Southwest and broadcast on SportsTalk 790 AM, Sirius 217, XM/SiriusXM 215 (Internet 890) and La Ranchera 101.7 FM (KNTE) & 850 AM (KEYH) in Spanish.

Go Rockets.