Opponent Scouting: Houston Rockets. (27-10)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will be hosting the Houston Rockets at the LCA. The PIstons are on two days of rest because they definitely did not play a game last night, there may have been one scheduled but they sure did not show up. The Rockets are on one day of rest after losing the the Warriors.
The Rockets feature the 2nd best offense in the NBA at 112.9 points per 100 possessios, and the 12th best defense in the NBA.
The Rockets are on a bit of a skid lately which includes some injuries. James Harden is hurt and will not be playing. Without Harden the Rockets are going to go in behind Chris Paul, who is still awesome in efficieny of passing and scoring. Eric Gordon has continued his revival from last year by being a scoring dynamo who launches threes like crazy. Trevor Ariza is still a great three and D player. Ryan Anderson is a sniper from deep at the 4 spot and has looked as good defensively as he ever has in his career (which isn't saying a lot but hey). P.J. Tucker is a bull defensively. MVP candadite Clint Capela rebounds, defends, and dunks in his limited role but he is awesome at it. Tarik Black is like that but not as good. Gerald Green has arrived on a new contract and been awesome.
The Rockets are almost a meme of themselves at this point but it is well earned. They shoot threes, not midrange, and run up and down the floor like crazy. They are aweseom on offense and actually been pretty good on defense. This team is stupid good even with the recent skid and without James Harden.
Matchups to watch:
- Pistons vs. Having a short memory: There was not a game last night. Better bounce back though.
- Pistons vs. Chris Paul: Chris Paul is very good, hopefully Avery Bradley can take the majority of the assignment which should help but even with Bradley on it this will be a tall order. The good news is that without James Harden, if the Pistons could manage to hole Paul in check then the Rockets don't have Harden to pick up the slack.
- Pistons vs. Defense: If the Pistons play defense like they did last night then this will be similarly ugly. Because unlike the Sixers, the Rockets are actually really good on offense.
- Drummond vs. Capela: Drummond's health obviously takes a role in this, but Capela is good enough that can go toe to toe with Drummond, and Capela does not have nearly the duties as Drummond so he can focus more energy on just trying to hold Drummond.
- Pistons vs. Pick and roll defense: It has been not so good recently from all parties involved. Chris Paul is one of the greatest pick and roll ball handlers ever, they will need to be on their game.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
- The Pistons respond to last night with a great fire in their bellies.
- Avery Bradley holds Chris Paul in check.
- The Rockets still look like they just have something wrong with them.
Run for the hills if:
- The Pistons look slow again.
- The Rockets start to make a lot of threes.
- Drummond still looks very hurt.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
- The Pistons bounce back from last night with great effort tonight.
- Avery Bradley hounds Chris Paul all night.
- Tobias Harris scores many points.
- The Pistons ride Tobias Harris on offense and team effort defensively to a close win.
- Pistons 112 - Rockets 108.
What do you think? Can the Pistons bounce back? Will Drummond be ready to go?