Houston Rockets: What To Watch For Vs. The Mavs

Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

It’s game one of the restarted season tonight for the Houston Rockets, as they take on the Dallas Mavericks. The teams have split their previous match-ups and come in with similar records. It should be an interesting test for Houston, and an important measuring stick for just how far these Rockets will go.

Kristaps Porzingis has feasted on the Rockets this season averaging 29 ppg with 13 rebounds I  their previous two matchups. How Houston handles him with their small lineups may provide some insight into how they’ll deal with Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic as the season progresses. If the Unicorn runs wild, it may be a harbinger of things to come.

Luka Donic only played in one of their previous games and had a big game as well. The good news for Houston is that both Russell Westbrook and James Harden also played well. Donic is one of the few guards big enough to not be thrown by Harden’s size and strength, and Eric Gordon’s absence may be felt in this matchup.

Conversely the rest of the mavs backcourt is small (JJ Barea), poor defensively (Tim Hardaway Jr.), or both (Seth Curry). Harden, Westbrook and even Austin Rivers should all be able to take advantage of the Mavs on offense. They should also be able to run Boban Marjanovic and Maxi Kleber off the floor. This is a night when Mike D’Antoni should be able to dictate the matchups.

All in all I would expect the Rockets to be able to come away with a solid win when it’s all said and done. If Robert Covington and Danuel House can get the majority of the minutes on Luka, and D’Antoni figures out a switch system that doesn’t let Porzingis go off for 40 then the Mavs just don’t have enough. The Rockets stars should be able to carry them to victory.

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