Championship contenders the Brooklyn Nets will take on Western Conference minnows Houston Rockets at the Barclays Center tonight. The Nets are 2nd in the East thanks to a 32-15 record, while the Rockets are in danger of slipping to the bottom spot in the NBA Western Conference with a 13-33 record.
The game will carry additional importance because of James Harden, who left the Houston Rockets early in the season to join the Brooklyn Nets after failing to make the NBA Finals with the Texas-based franchise.
Fixture: Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 31st; 7:30 PM ET (Thursday, 1st April; 5:00 AM IST).
Venue: Barclays Center, New York.
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets have been a poor team on both ends of the floor, conceding 113 points per game on average while scoring just 107.3. They have failed to move the ball as well, averaging just 22.6 assists per match, the 3rd lowest in the league.
The Houston Rockets' rebounding has been lethargic, and the team is grabbing a dismal 42 rebounds every game. They are the worst 3-point shooting team which, combined with an absence of an offensive focal point, makes head coach Stephen Silas' job difficult. The Rockets are heading towards the lottery, and it won't be a surprise to see them slip to the last spot in the West by the end of the campaign.
Key Player - John Wall
After losing James Harden and Victor Oladipo in succession, the onus of carrying the Houston Rockets will fall on offseason acquisition John Wall. The former Washington Wizards star has put up numbers this year, averaging 20 points, 7 assists and a steal per game.
However, Wall's efficiency from the field has been suspect, as he had made just 40% of his overall attempts and 30% of his shots from the deep. John Wall is on a mission to prove his critics wrong, and has the opportunity to remind fans of his talent despite the Houston Rockets' struggles.
Houston Rockets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - John Wall, Shooting Guard - Kevin Porter Jr., Small Forward - Jae'Sean Tate, Power Forward - Danuel House Jr., Center - Kelly Olynyk
Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets have been the league's best offense, averaging an incredible 119 points per game. The front office's move to combine three prolific scorers in James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant has paid off. The team is currently doing extremely well despite the absence of former league MVP Kevin Durant and have won 4 of their last 5 games.
The Brooklyn Nets have been the most efficient team from the field in the 2020-21 campaign, making 50% of their shots. They rank top 10 in both defensive rebounding and assists, and are the third-best 3-point shooting team in the league.
Key Player - James Harden
James Harden has looked like the same player he was in Houston, as the aggressive shooting guard has been playing at an MVP level for the Brooklyn Nets. Harden has put up an incredible 26 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds per game for the Nets and has struck a brilliant backcourt partnership with Kyrie Irving.
The only criticism of James Harden's game has been his tendency to commit turnovers. He has turned the ball over 4 times a game, a mark he will have to improve on if he is to win the MVP accolade for the second time in his career.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Kyrie Irving, Shooting Guard - James Harden, Small Forward - Bruce Brown, Power Forward - Joe Harris, Center - DeAndre Jordan
Rockets vs Nets Prediction
The Brooklyn Nets are the clear-cut favorites to win this encounter. They have a star-stacked starting lineup and a productive bench, and it is highly unlikely that the Houston Rockets will be able to stage an upset on the road against a contender.
Where to Watch Rockets vs Nets
The live coverage of the Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets game will be available on AT&T Sports Net South West and YES Network. The match can also be live-streamed with an NBA League Pass.