Game Preview: Houston Rockets vs Phoenix Suns

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After losing to the Grizzlies the Rockets head back home to pay the Suns, for the second time in three games. The Rockets are led in scoring and assists by James Harden, at 27.4 points and 11.9 assists, and in rebounds by Clint Capela, at 8.0 rebounds a game. The Rockets now rank 3rd in offensive rating, 19th in defensive rating, and 6th in net rating.

Not much has changed for the Suns, since the last time these two teams played and are currently 9-21 after defeating the 76ers. The Suns are led in scoring and assists by Eric Bledsoe, at 20 points and 5.5 assists, and in rebounds by Tyson Chandler, at 11.5 rebounds per game. So far this season the Suns rank 21st in offensive rating, 24th in defensive rating, and 26th in net rating.

Starting Lineups

With Clint Capela still sidelined with a leg injury, the Rockets starting lineup will likely be: James Harden at point guard, Patrick Beverley at shooting guard, Trevor Ariza at small forward, Ryan Anderson at power forward, and NenĂª Hilario at center, with Eric Gordon getting starter’s minutes.

The Suns are likely to come out with a starting five of Eric Bledsoe at point guard, Devin Booker at shooting guard, P.J. Tucker at small forward, Marquese Chriss at power forward, and Tyson Chandler at center.

Three Things to Watch

  • On to the next one – The Rockets are currently undefeated on games following a loss. Watch to see if the Rockets are able to continue to avoid a losing streak.

  • Potential rematch – The Suns were able to stick around for much of the game in Phoenix just 5 days ago, until the Rockets pulled away late. Watch to see if the Suns are able to stay in the game longer, or if the Rockets are able to keep them out of it from the tip.

  • Run N' Gun – The Rockets and Suns are both teams that like to get out and run, ranking 9th and 2nd in pace, respectively. Watch to see who is able to take advantage of the fast paced game we will likely see on Monday night.

Prediction and Tip-Off

The Rockets are a much better team than the Suns and I expect a similar ending to the one we saw in Phoenix, a big Rockets win.

Tip-off will be at 7:00 P.M. Central Time in Houston on Monday, December 26th. The game will be televised on ROOT Sports, with the radio broadcast on Sports Talk 790-AM.

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