Game Preview: Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors

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After a crushing loss to the Utah Jazz, the Rockets continue their road trip, this time in Oakland. The Rockets are lead in both scoring and assists by James Harden (28.7 points and 11.9 assists per game), and in rebounding by Clint Capela, who pulls in 8.6 rebounds a game. The Rockets rank 4th in offensive rating, 26th in defense, continuing their defensive free fall, and 10th in net rating.

After looking like they might struggle to come together to start the season, the Golden State Warriors have become the ridiculous offense everyone thought they would be. The Warriors currently sit at 16-2, sitting on top of the Western Conference. The Warriors are lead in points by Kevin Durant, who averages 27.1 points per game, and in rebounds and assists by Draymond Green, who averages 8.6 rebounds a game to go with his 6.9 assists. The Warriors rank 1st in offensive rating, 6th in defensive rating, and 1st, by far, in net rating.

Starting Lineups

The Rockets are likely to continue to start with James Harden at point guard, Patrick Beverley at shooting guard, Trevor Ariza at small forward, Ryan Anderson at power forward, and Clint Capela at center, with Eric Gordon getting starter’s minutes.

After winning the 2016 off-season by signing their starting small forward, Kevin Durant, the Warriors have been dominating the league. The Warriors are likely to start Steph Curry at point guard, Klay Thompson at shooting guard, Kevin Durant at small forward, Draymond Green at power forward, and Zaza Pachulia at center.

Three Things to Watch

  • How do they match up- So far in the young season, the Warriors have the highest offensive rating OF ALL TIME, edging out the showtime Lakers. Watch to see how the Rockets fair against a historically dominant offense and team.

  • A weakness?- There is one thing that the Warriors have struggles with this season, and it is keeping teams off of the offensive glass, coming in at 27th in the league at defensive rebounding percentage. Watch to see if the rockets are able to take advantage of what appears to be the Warriors only weakness.

  • Where is the Defense?- After being out of the bottom 10 in defense, seemingly yesterday, the Rockets now find themselves in the bottom five, after some rough defensive games against the Raptors, Trail Blazers, and Jazz. Watch to see if the Rockets are able to stop this free fall, or at least start to slow it down.

Prediction and Tip-Off

This won't be pretty.

The Warriors are an all time great team, and the league may have never seen such a high level of talent all together in one place. I predict a lot of 4th quarter playing time for Bobby Brown on Thursday, and not because the Rockets are winning.

Tip-off will be at 9:30 P.M. Central Time at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday, December 1st. The game will be televised on TNT (be prepared to mute Charles Barkley), with the radio broadcast on Sports Talk 790-AM.

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