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Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors: Match Preview and Predictions | NBA Christmas Day

Achyut Dubey
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 25 Dec 2019, 14:39 IST

A Christmas day clash that NBA didn
A Christmas day clash that NBA didn't vouch for.

Match Details

Fixture: Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors

Date & Time: Wednesday, 25 December 2019 (5:00 PM ET)

Venue: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

Last Game Results

Houston Rockets (21-9): 113-104 win over Sacramento Kings (23 December, Monday)

Golden State Warriors (7-24): 113-104 win over Minnesota Timberwolves (23 December, Monday)

Houston Rockets Preview

After shaking off the early season cobwebs, the Houston Rockets have settled into a comfortable pace headlined by their statement win over Los Angeles Clippers on the road. The team has won eight of their last ten games, and sits at the third spot on the West standings with a imposing 21-9 (0.700) record.

As has been the norm in Houston, they are making up for lackadaisical defense with blazing offense on the other end - precisely with the second best offensive rating (115.1) in the league.

Despite missing Eric Gordon, Gerald Green, Nene Hilario and Thabo Sefolosha to injuries, the Rockets have been cruising through their recent matchups, having now won four in a row.

Key Player - Russell Westbrook

Westbrook took his time, but his presence is now indispensable to Houston
Westbrook took his time, but his presence is now indispensable to Houston's success.
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Over the last seven games, Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.5 assist, and 1.7 steals on 50 percent from the field. His gradual increase in contribution and efficiency has seen a much improved and dominant offensive side for the team as a whole.

He has played in 27 games so far, and it has become fairly clear that his explosive athleticism has been the X-factor that Coach Mike D'Antoni's lineup was looking for all this time. Although his recent surge might seem like a small sample size, it does provide us the glimpse of how good this team can be if Westbrook continues to play his part well.

Rockets Predicted Lineup

PJ Tucker, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Clint Capela, Danuel House Jr.


Golden State Warriors Preview

The Golden State Warriors have been facing grave adversity all season long. From being NBA Finalists to ending up dead last on the West standings this year, the Dubs have seen it all in the past few months.

However, the ailing squad recently recorded its first back-to-back wins for the season. They are currently 7-24 (0.226) on the year, and possess the worst offensive rating (104.1) in the NBA at the moment.

The scheduled Christmas day bout will be devoid of the Splash brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, therefore, drawing the very heart out of the Rockets-Warriors rivalry.

Key Player - D'Angelo Russell

Russell recently became D-Wade
Russell recently became D-Wade's successor to 'Way of Wade'

D'Angelo Russell has been the lone ranger on a Dubs team missing most of its offensive production. He is averaging a team-high and career-high 22.4 points along with 6.4 assists per game, on 43% shooting from the floor.

Given the glaring lack of quality scorers on the roster, he is having to attempt over 18 shots per matchup this year. Safe to say, he is on his way to bagging a second-straight All-Star berth, now that he finds himself in the driver's seat of an entire franchise yet again.

Warriors Predicted Lineup

Draymond Green, D'Angelo Russell, Damion Lee, Alec Burks, Willie Cauley-Stein

Rockets vs Warriors Match Prediction

Ever since Stephen Curry went down, the Warriors have been consistent underdogs heading into any matchup. And so is the case with this Christmas day bout as well. The Rockets are playing their best basketball of the year, and an understaffed squad such as Golden State is projected to pose minor hurdles to their resurgent run.

Where to Watch Rockets vs Warriors?

This clash will be nationally televised on ABC from 5:00 PM (ET). You can also live stream the game via NBA League Pass.

Published 25 Dec 2019, 14:06 IST
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