Fixture: Brooklyn Nets vs Houston Rockets
Date & Time: Saturday, 28th December 2019 (8:00 pm ET)
Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Last Game Results
Brooklyn Nets (16-14): 82-94 loss to the New York Knicks (26th December)
Houston Rockets (21-10): 104-116 loss to the Golden State Warriors (25th December)
Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets are currently missing key players with Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert out in addition to Kevin Durant being ruled out for the season. They have fallen to 7th place in the East and are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They are also quite far from sixth place, having a five-game differential with the Raptors.
Last game, they shot an embarrassing 26.9% from the field against the 28th defensive-rated New York Knicks. They will look to get out of their slump in their next game in Houston as they make a push to secure their current spot or go for a higher playoff spot.
Key Player - Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie seemed to be the only bright spot in their loss against the Knicks last Thursday. The 6'5 guard scored 25 points and is currently averaging 22.7 points, 6.1 assists, 3 rebounds, and .8 steals on 43.2% shooting.
Dinwiddie will have to shoot better against the Rockets, though, as opposed to his 5-of-15 outing last game if he wants to help his team steal this one from Houston. He'll also be important on defense as he'll be facing the backcourt of James Harden and Russell Westbrook. He should look to outsmart the duo on offense and try not to get unwise fouls while defending them.
Nets Predicted Lineup
Garett Temple, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarett Allen, Taurean Prince, Joe Harris
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets are coming off of Christmas Day heartbreak after a 12-point loss to the depleted Golden State Warriors. Although they currently sit fourth in the West and are 7-3 in their last 10 games, the Rockets have struggled with their shooting and defense. They only shot 7 of their 29 open threes against the Warriors and gave up a lot of open looks that Golden State were able to take advantage of.
Their shooting should definitely improve once they get Eric Gordon back. For now though, the Rockets are looking to navigate the defense with their best shooter in Harden being trapped at half court and with Westbrook being their court general when this happens. The team has to show more energy than what they did on Christmas Day, like going up for loose balls and not being out-rebounded by a guard like Damion Lee.
Key Player - James Harden
Once again, James Harden will be key if they want to secure this win. Teams have been trying to get the ball out of his hands and he has yet to show how well he plays when he's trapped at half-court. In their last game against the Warriors, he seemed to disconnect from the play the moment he had passed the ball out from a double team.
Harden will have to be better off-ball and quit ball-watching. Although he still scores at least 20 points on not-so-great nights, he should realize how intangibles on the court can help take his team to the next level. As a talented scorer, he should look for cuts or navigate through screens to get himself open. He could also try to attract defenders closer to the play and not just stand so far out that he becomes a non-participant in the current play.
Rockets Predicted Lineup:
James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Clint Capela, PJ Tucker, Danuel House
Nets vs Rockets Match Prediction
The Rockets may have the slight upper-hand in this game at home. The Nets are not a bad defensive team and may actually able to contain the Rockets to a certain level, but Harden is bound to have a revenge game after that loss while the Nets currently lack more reliable offensive players. If Harden gets hot and Westbrook makes better shot selections this game, it will be a win for the Rockets, albeit a potentially close one.
Where to Watch Nets vs Rockets?
You can catch the game on YES Network and AT&T Sportsnet. It can also be streamed live via NBA League Pass.Published 28 Dec 2019, 00:33 IST